Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

Rejection of residence for elderly is appealed planners say tract should remain commercial


Schools, hotels, golf courses, hospitals, child care centers -- they're all fine. Just don't put a home for the elderly on a 104-acre piece of land off U.S. 29 just south of Columbia.

So says the Howard County Planning Board, prompting the land developers this week to appeal to the Howard County Council for permission to build the project.

The Planning Board previously had classified the piece of land -- on Hopkins Road near the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory -- as a "Planned Employment Center," which permits 23 uses from light manufacturing to sports facilities.

"None of them are residential," said Ted Mariani, Planning Board member. He wants to keep commercially designated land filled with commercial development.

But the land developers -- the Hopkins Road Limited Partnership -- said the site is ideal for a home for the elderly because it is near U.S. 29. The residents could be driven to malls and stores easily, the developers believe.

The home would create 65 jobs and generate $200,000 in property taxes annually for the county, said Richard B. Talkin, an attorney for the developers.

But Mr. Mariani said the site is mostly vacant space and is not appropriate for such a facility.

"The old folks need amenities; they need things close by," he said. "They don't need to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere."

Aquatic program to cover watersheds, stream ecology

Patuxent Research Refuge-North Tract on Bald Eagle Drive in Laurel will offer "Aquatic Escapade II" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The program will cover watersheds and stream ecology.

Participants will test the water quality of the Little Patuxent River and help remove debris.

Those interested should bring gloves and boots and be dressed for wet and dirty activities. Equipment and materials will be provided. Information: (410) 674-3304.

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