Rezoning plan could damage the Magothy

The County Council is considering Bill 49-05, a comprehensive rezoning bill that includes provisions to rezone 8217 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard, where the Natural Wood Waste Recycling facility operates, from the current R1 and C4 zoning to W2.

This property abuts the headwaters of the Magothy River, and the Magothy River Association strongly objects to this rezoning. W2 zoning provides for industrial use and is not appropriate for this environmentally sensitive location - for example, this area is the site of a DNR project to restore yellow perch.

No matter what the current use, once the area is rezoned, a host of new industrial activities become legal and it becomes very difficult to protect the river.

Beyond that, the history of this property over the past 10 years reveals the absurdity of this latest plan. In the mid 1990s, residents in the area lodged numerous complaints over the noise coming from crushing concrete and stumps, and the accumulation of creosoted railroad ties and telephone poles, all in violation of zoning regulations.

Finally, the County Council voted in 1999 to allow the facility three years to move the objectionable mulching activity to another site. Instead of moving, the facility continued to operate, obtaining extensions and continuing to violate zoning restrictions. The solution? The County Council is now on track to pass a different bill that nullifies the earlier law and grants the business not only the right to continue the mulching operation but to drastically increase the industrial use of the land.

This defies belief, but there it is.

I encourage every resident of the Magothy River watershed to contact their County Council representative and demand that the proposed provision to rezone this property W2 be removed from the legislation.

Paul Spadaro

Severna Park

The writer is president of the Magothy River Association.

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