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Letter: Say “No” to Abingdon Business Park

All of the homeowners, business owners, worship centers, education centers, and public schools along Routes 7, 24, 924 and Abingdon Road should be vehemently protesting against the Abingdon Business Park. In fact, everyone in Harford County should be protesting the ABP. If 2.4 million square feet of warehouses can be approved on 326 acres in the middle of a residential area in Abingdon it could happen anywhere else in the county.

The property designated for the ABP contains wetlands, a 100-year flood plain, the HaHa Branch, and many unnamed underground streams. Why is Harford County willing to destroy the wetlands, risk pollution of the HaHa Branch, and allow the 100-year flood plain to be encroached? Also, studies have shown that the soil type found in these 326 acres will not support structures of this magnitude. Foundations in such soil have a tendency to crumble or sink.

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The property extends from Van Bibber Road to Abingdon Road. Basically, that means Route 24 to Abingdon Road. It borders William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary and a historic church on Abingdon Road that has a preschool program. The parents of the elementary school students and the preschoolers should be very concerned about the noise and toxic fumes generated by a non-stop caravan of tractor trailers 24/7.

Anyone who daily travels along Routes 7, 24, 924, and Abingdon Road, all of which are already overwhelmed with traffic congestion and failing intersections should be concerned about the additional traffic that this mammoth project will produce. Anyone who has ever had to use exit 77A knows the danger inherent in trying to merge onto Route 24. The merge will be even more dangerous as numerous tractor trailers attempt to leave I-95 and cross three lanes of traffic to turn left at the Exxon station so they can proceed to the ABP.

Area homeowners should be concerned about plummeting property values and their inability to sell their homes. Already contracts on houses in the area are falling through because potential home buyers have become aware of the ABP.

It would make much more sense to re-purpose the numerous vacant warehouses in the Joppa, Edgewood, Aberdeen and Perryman areas instead of building mega-million square feet warehouses on speculation. No tenants have yet signed contractual commitments to the ABP. However, the ABP has already been annexed to the Joppa-Edgewood Enterprise Zone and the developers are all set to enjoy tax incentives. Only County Council member Andre Johnson voted against the annexation in support of his constituents. His integrity in this matter is greatly appreciated.

It is time for all Harford County citizens to alert their County Council representatives, the County Council President, the Director of Administration, the County Executive, the Director of Planning and Zoning, and the Director of Traffic and Transportation that the Abingdon Business Park is unacceptable. Please help the citizens of Abingdon to strongly oppose this project. Once the precedent has been set your neighborhood could be the next one to experience such a questionable project.

MARYLEE A. STRITCH

Abingdon

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