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Councilwoman's project on waterfront home is issued stop-work order

Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Barbara D. Samorajczyk, who has long worked to protect the Chesapeake Bay from development, has been cited by the county, accused of violating a building permit and failing to erect a silt fence for a project at her lakefront home.

Samorajczyk received a stop-work order and $100 citation for a project to replace a wooden deck and awning with a flagstone patio and pavilion at her house in the 2500 block of Carrollton Road in Annapolis Roads, said Matt Diehl, a spokesman for the county.

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Diehl said the stop-work order and citation were issued Tuesday after an anonymous tip to the Department of Inspections and Permits. "We're treating this just like we would any other violation," he said.

Samorajczyk said she was embarrassed and disappointed. She said she had been in New England on vacation for two weeks recently and that she was counting on a contractor to adhere to county code. She hinted that the anonymous tip was politically motivated.

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"This is a technical error, but for me it will mean headlines," she said yesterday, before a meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission, of which she has been a member since 1996. The commission reviews waterside projects to ensure compliance with state law, among other duties.

Samorajczyk said her contractor might have made an error when he filed the plans for the new patio and pavilion, and that measurements for the patio might have been misstated. When a county inspector toured the construction site, he noted that the patio did not conform to submitted plans.

The contractor, who works with McHale & McHale Landscape Inc. of Upper Marlboro, met with a county official yesterday to review the plan. The contractor paid the $100 fine and submitted a revised document yesterday, Samorajczyk said. The contractor did not return a call seeking comment.

Betty Dixon, county land use and environment director, said it was unclear yesterday whether Samorajczyk needed a silt fence at the site. The county requires silt fences to prevent debris from sliding into waterways. Samorajczyk said she didn't need the fence because the deck project did not require excavation.

Since her 1998 election to the council, Samorajczyk has tried to keep builders from exploiting sensitive waterfront land. At a council meeting Monday, elected officials adopted legislation by Samorajczyk that will further tighten local development laws.


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