It may take more than a peace offering of muffins by County Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass, a 1st District Democrat, to get friends and foes of Waverly Woods II back together, but at least they'll be in the same room tonight.
County Council members will sit as the Zoning Board for the 12th day of testimony on the proposed 682-acre commercial, residential and golfing village.
Developers of the 30-year project, which would include 937 homes and 1.7 million square feet of office space, have presented their case, and opposition witnesses will continue testifying tonight.
Councilwoman Pendergrass proffered muffins as a means of getting both sides to sit down for an Oct. 1 meeting. But they failed to meet again as planned.
Each side says that the other isn't really interested in talking. "We kind of ran into another brick wall," said Jean Quattlebaum, president of Citizens Allied for Rational Expansion (CARE).
Rezoning opponents mailed, phoned and faxed several possible meeting dates to attorneys for the developers, but were turned down for a meeting, she said.
The opponents were turned down, said developers' attorney Ronald L. Spahn, because they failed to produce a traffic expert as promised.
During the informal Oct. 1 meeting the two sides were at loggerheads over how much traffic the Marriottsville project would generate. The developers contended that even without their development, roads such as Route 99 and Marriottsville Road will have to be widened. Opponents, who do not want the roads widened, disagreed and said they had experts to prove it.
"I did not want to meet with them unless they lived up to what they indicated they were going to do," said Mr. Spahn. "More importantly, I don't think that they're interested in working it out."
But Ms. Quattlebaum said she and others opposed to the rezoning are willing to negotiate.
"The problem was, the expert that we requested is someone that works for the Department of Planning and Zoning, and there's no way to get that person there," Ms. Quattlebaum said. She said her group can produce documents from the Baltimore area Council of Governments to prove its point about traffic.
The public hearing is set for 8 p.m. in the Banneker Room of the county office building in Ellicott City.