Letters to the editor

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Value of property vs. value of a school

We were happy to read your article about the VFW Post 7472 voting to continue negotiations with the Department of Education to sell some of their land for a much needed elementary school.

However, we were disappointed to learn the YMCA and the property owners on Montgomery Road have put their negotiations with the Department of Education "on hold" for the remainder of the land needed until after a decision is made on their rezoning request during the current Howard County Comprehensive Zoning process.

If the County Council votes to rezone their land from residential to commercial, as requested, the value of the property will increase, thus raising the cost of the land for the new school.

The property owners and the YMCA have historically been unsuccessful in their attempts to get their properties rezoned in order to inflate the land's selling price. In 1998 the property owners requested commercial rezoning for an office building and a strip mall. In 2001 the property owners and the YMCA wanted commercial rezoning for a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse.

They walked away from a proposal in 2001 to sell their land for a senior housing project, because they wanted more money. Now they are standing still on the current proposal to sell some of their land for a new school, because they want more money.

It will be a shame if this deal falls through and our young children continue to be subjected to overcrowded schools because the YMCA and the property owners place the importance of more money over the importance of responsible growth.

Cathi Higgins

Ellicott City

Montgomery Road Citizens for Responsible Growth

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