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Residents sought for planning team


THE BROOKLYN PARK of the future - what will it be? Green open fields or more housing developments? Vacant storefronts or thriving businesses? More homeowners or more landlords?

Community residents who are interested in the future of the area are being sought to join the Brooklyn Park Small Area Planning Committee.

Judy Vollmar, outreach coordinator for the county's Department of Planning and Zoning, said that the committee will be given the task of creating a vision for the future of Brooklyn Park.

"There will be a lot of planning up front," she said, "and we will provide data for them to work with."

Committee members may be residents or anyone who owns a business in the community.

"We involve the private as well as the public sector," Vollmar said. "The initial assignment will be to seek the opinions of the community - what they like about the community, what they don't like and what they want it to look like in the future - and they will have to go back and be the liaison between the county and the community."

While it might not be an opportunity to let our hearts and hopes for Brooklyn Park run wild, it will be a chance to help the community change for the better.

"It's not that the sky's the limit. There are constraints that will have to be worked with," Vollmar said, noting that master plans for parks and water and sewer projects will have to be considered. "But as far as anything else, it's pretty wide open."

Members will meet twice a month for a year and will draft a plan. Then they will study the comprehensive zoning of the community to determine how their objectives might be accomplished within existing zoning.

"Some changes may mean that the zoning will have to be changed," said Vollmar.

The plan will then be presented to the Department of Planning and Zoning and the County Council for approval.

Twelve small-area planning committees exist in Anne Arundel. Plans for Crofton, Crownsville and Deale/Shadyside have been fully approved. Plans for Broadneck and South County have been submitted to the county but have not yet been approved by Planning and Zoning, Vollmar said.

A public forum will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Brooklyn Park Library, 1 E. 11th Ave., where residents may see a detailed map of the area, look at copies of other areas' plans and apply to be members of the Brooklyn Park committee. Applications may also be found at www.aacounty. org. Information: 410-222-7432.

Traffic to be discussed

The Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Brooklyn Park Elementary School, Morgan Road and 14th Avenue. The main topic of discussion will be the increase in traffic in the community.

"Traffic is getting much worse," said the association's president, Arlene Hodges. "Morgan Road is turning into a little Ritchie Highway.

"People have discovered a short cut. Many cut behind the Metro and then head all the way down Morgan Road to 1st Avenue," she said. "It's car after car after car."

A major concern is the safety of children walking to school.

"This is an old neighborhood with narrow streets," she said. "Kids walk to school, ride bikes. There's only one stop sign on Morgan Road. After that it's a straight shot to 1st Avenue."

A representative from the county Police Department will attend the meeting.

Information: 410-636-3269 or 410-636-0352.

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