Potential traffic problem blocks day care center Castine residents oppose building PASADENA


Potentially heavy traffic along Tick Neck Road derailed a Pasadena family's bid yesterday to open a children's day care center there.

Administrative Hearing Officer Robert Wilcox denied Alice Marie Thorne of Shell Road a special exception to build an 8,000-square-foot day care center in a residential zone because she could not prove the roads adequate for her use.

The burden of proof lies with the applicant, Mr. Wilcox said as he ruled at the end of a one-hour hearing in Annapolis.

Residents from the Castine subdivision, which lies adjacent to the proposed center, testified against Mrs. Thorne's plans for a center to serve 140 children.

But the damaging testimony came from county planners and traffic engineers.

Kevin Dooley with the county Department of Planning and Code Enforcement recommended against approving the day care center, though he said it met most requirements for approval.

"Traffic is a question mark," he said, raising concerns about Tick Neck Road and the intersection of Edwin Raynor Boulevard and Fort Smallwood Road.

Mr. Dooley said a day care center could be expected to generate 180 trips to and from the site during morning and evening rush hours and could overload those roads.

Without a study by traffic experts of the roads and the volume of traffic on them, Mrs. Thorne could not address the concerns.

Neighbors of the proposed center testified that they are worried about potential traffic hazards and other nuisances.

Residents said they feared allowing one business, even a day care center, could open the gates to other businesses.

Kenneth M. Johnson, of the 1200 block of Hunter Lane, said, "I have three children, and I know how loud they can be. With 140 children, there is no way it won't be a nuisance."

Yesterday, Mr. Wilcox also heard a request to rezone 2.88 acres on Long Hill Road near Lipins Corner to a more intense commercial use. The property, owned by the Long Mountain Limited Partnership and managed by the EZ Store Corp., is zoned for residential and office space.

The EZ Store Corp. wants to build and operate a self-storage warehouse on the site. The company operates seven similar operations in the Baltimore and Washington areas.

Mr. Dooley recommended denial of the request. He said the site was zoned for office to provide a transition between the more intense commercial uses along Mountain Road and the residential neighborhood at the end of Long Hill Road.

Several residents of the end of Long Hill Road also opposed the rezoning.

Mr. Wilcox said he will visit the site to judge whether a more intense use would be compatible with the area.

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