Residents irked by substation action
A group of Tyler Heights residents charged yesterday that Annapolis lawmakers acted hastily and improperly in approving the expansion of the Tyler Avenue substation despite concerns about possible harmful emissions.
The City Council approved last week an application by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to expand the substation, over the objections of those who fear an increased risk of cancer from electromagnetic fields.
Two years ago, the council rejected the planned $2.5 million expansion because of the neighbors' concerns. But BG&E; sued to reverse the council's decision and won.
Council members had voted 7-1 in an earlier closed session to appeal, said Alderman Wayne Turner, a Republican who represents the area. He attacked the decision to drop the appeal as "immoral" and "illegal."
And the residents, who formed the Tyler Avenue Substation Committee "to look into the improprieties of the decision," complained that they were misled.
"We were told an appeal had been filed by the city," said Sandy Travis, founder of the committee. "And then at the last minute, when there was no time for anyone to object or take action, an improper vote was taken and we found out the appeal would be dismissed."
Mr. Turner said he's asked Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins to determine whether the conditional use that was granted is legal. Mr. Hopkins said he agreed that the substation should not be expanded. He said the increased demand for electric service is mostly from new developments in the county. Mr. Hopkins also said he's unsure about the health risks.
Civic group to vote on city future plan
Members of a civic association are to vote tonight on a plan for the future of downtown Annapolis.
A committee of Annapolis business leaders and residents reached a hard-fought consensus in December on a 300-page comprehensive plan for the historic downtown.
But even as the group tried to approve the final document, members continued to voice conflicting interests that threatened unravel compromises reached over three years.
The Ward 1 Residents Association will decide whether to endorse the plan during its meeting tonight.
Thursday night, the city's Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the plan.
Some members of the residents' association have expressed concerns about sections of the plan, as have some downtown business leaders.
The association meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at Loews Annapolis Hotel.
* Annapolis: Equipment valued at $6,225 was taken from a construction trailer in the 800 block of Bestgate Road Wednesday night.