Council to oppose stadium


Four of Laurel's five City Council members support a sweeping resolution opposing a proposed $160 million stadium for the Washington Redskins near the Laurel Race Course, apparently assuring its passage during the council's regular meeting Monday night.

Craig A. Moe was the only council member who did not agree to co-sponsor the resolution when it was discussed at a late-night work session Thursday, council President Faith C. Calhoun said.

Walter Lynch, the Redskins' project manager for the stadium, scoffed yesterday at the resolution. "I don't see it as a problem," he said, noting that it would not stop Anne Arundel County's zoning process.

Zoning hearings on the project are to start Monday.

The Laurel resolution says the 78,600-seat stadium for the football team would harm the quality of life in the city and that the cost to the city would eat up any tax revenue. It asks Anne Arundel to delay action on the stadium until new traffic counts are done and interested parties are given at least four weeks to review them.

The document also authorizes the mayor to ask the General Assembly for an amusement tax on stadium events, with some of the revenue used to reimburse the city for stadium-related costs. It also calls for the state or Anne Arundel to establish an independent authority to oversee the stadium, funded by a 1 percent surcharge on stadium receipts.

To minimize disruption of church services, the resolution asks Anne Arundel to restrict the stadium's operating hours, with no Sunday events beginning before 2 p.m., an hour later than games now begin.

The measure asks Anne Arundel planners to require the Redskins to pay for a variety of traffic signals, speed bumps, landscaped medians, parking facilities and other improvements. Mr. Lynch said the Redskins already have promised to pay for many of the items.

The resolution also asks the county and state to force the Redskins to post bonds to pay for additional road improvements in case the Redskins' traffic goals and auto-occupancy projections are not met. And it authorizes Laurel Mayor Frank P. Casula to spend up to $10,000 for an independent traffic consultant to review the Redskins' traffic and parking studies.

"They didn't ask the Redskins to paint any buildings or pave the streets with gold, but otherwise they pretty much covered the waterfront," said D. Craig Horn, chairman of Citizens for a Planned Stadium in Laurel.

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