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Waverly Woods' foes press for hearing postponement


Opponents of a proposed residential, commercial and golfing village in Marriottsville are hoping to postpone a county Zoning Board hearing Wednesday, saying they weren't given adequate notice of the date.

The hearing on the Waverly Woods II project, proposed for 682 rural acres along Marriottsville Road between Interstate 70 and Route 99, will continue at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Banneker Room of the George Howard building.

"We were told last week the earliest possible date to resume hearings was going to be July 1st," said Jean Quattlebaum, president of Citizens Allied for Rational Expansion (CARE). The two attorneys representing the opponents have scheduling conflicts, she said.

Board Chairman C. Vernon Gray said the hearing will go on as scheduled, noting that the board has to give only "reasonable" notice. A newspaper advertisement today and notices mailed Tuesday to those signed up to testify is more than sufficient, he said.

"We made a decision to schedule this last week," Gray said Friday. "We've been away from this for a couple months as it is."

Quattlebaum said that by Friday, she knew of no opponents who had received their notices, and said a notice today would be too late.

The Zoning Board last had hearings on Waverly Woods in March. At one of those hearings, several hundred opponents showed up. Although board members said they had hoped to continue the hearings in April, they became preoccupied with the 10 nights of hearings on the proposed Wal-Mart store in Ellicott City and with plans for comprehensive rezoning in the county.

Opponents would like to get as much time with the County Council, sitting as the Zoning Board, as Wal-Mart opponents did, Quattlebaum said.

"We do have several expert witnesses that will be testifying," she said, in addition to about 140 people signed up to testify against the zoning change.

However, Gray said he is determined to keep the process from being drawn out.

"We're not going to have any more marathons. The process is not there to be abused by anyone," Gray said. "We're going to set some ground rules. We're not going to have a repeat of Wal-Mart."

The chairman said he will talk to county attorneys to see if it is possible to change the ground rules of a hearing already in progress.

"Otherwise, I'll use the discretion of the chair to do that," Gray said.

Waverly Woods II zoning hearing

WHat: Petition to rezone 682 rural acres for a residential, commercial and golfing village along Marriotsville Road between Interstate 70 and Route 99.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Banneker Room of the George Howard County office building. From U.S. 40, take Rogers Avenue south to county office complex on right.

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