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Waste-transfer station survives court challenge


Plans to build a waste-transfer station in Elkridge survived a court challenge earlier this week when a Circuit Court judge ruled that a neighboring business park had failed to prove that the Howard County Zoning Board improperly granted rezoning for the project.

Judge Dennis M. Sweeney Tuesday ruled against Meadowridge Business Park's appeal of the rezoning granted to Houston-based Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI), which is planning to build the waste-transfer station.

The county, which is searching for solutions to its trash problems, would be able to dump trash at the facility and have it hauled out of the county by BFI or another company.

Meadowridge attorneys argued that County Council members, sitting as the Zoning Board, had not come up with a "compelling" reason to grant the rezoning, as regulations require. They also argued that the rezoning was invalid because the county's 10-year solid waste plan had not been signed by the county executive as state law required.

The judge ruled, however, that the board decides for itself what is or isn't compelling and that the county solved the signature problem with an affidavit from County Executive Charles I. Ecker approving the waste plan.

The board voted March 27 to rezone the 17-acre site off U.S. 1, where BFI already operates a recycling plant.

The rezoning allows BFI to operate a 21,000-square-foot building where garbage trucks will dump their loads to be compacted into 25-ton tractor-trailer loads for shipment to landfills or incinerators outside the Baltimore area. The facility will handle 2,000 tons of trash a day from the Baltimore area. Construction is expected to take several months.


* Ellicott City: 3100 block of Wheaton Way: A thief pried open a passenger-side door of a Honda and stole its two rear speakers valued at $200 Monday. Police said the thief also tried to steal the car's radio, but broke it in the attempt.

10100 block of Frederick Road: Vandals broke the rear window of a day care center Sunday, police said.

4100 block of College Ave.: Someone entered a maintenance garage at Taylor Manor Wednesday by knocking a hole in its bay door and then broke another window to a vehicle inside. Police said nothing had been stolen.

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