Glenelg residents opposed to the Howard County school board's plans to build two schools in their neighborhood filed an appeal last week with the Maryland State Board of Education, saying that alternative sites should have been considered.
The appeal alleges that the Howard school system "selected a quick solution site with many negative issues."
It asks the state school board to order Howard officials to consider alternatives to the 78-acre parcel near the intersection of Triadelphia and Folly Quarter roads.
No date has been set for the state board to hear the appeal. An appeal before the state board does not require the Howard school system to delay construction. The state board is not believed to ever have overturned an action by the Howard school board.
The parcel at issue is owned by Howard Hunt Properties Inc. and used by Howard County Iron Bridge Hounds Inc. to board fox hounds and horses.
The school board voted in June to take the land through eminent domain -- a seizure by government for public use -- because negotiations with the owners had deadlocked over price. It is the first such action in school system history. A trial to decide the issue is scheduled Sept. 11 in Howard County Circuit Court.
The board's construction plans call for a new elementary school to open on the site in 1998 and a new middle school to be added there five years later.
In their appeal to the state board, the residents claim that the school board ran "roughshod over historical, environmental, safety, community objections and community property values," and call the board's actions "an abuse of power."
Susan Cook, the board's chairwoman, said she's not surprised by the appeal but said, "It's time that everyone realize that the Board of Education does not make decisions lightly."
Pub Date: 8/08/96