Letters to the Editor

Vol. 8, No. 17
April 26-May 3, 2000
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Ruled by Waivers

Dear Bay Weekly:

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens has done well to end school waivers. But there’s more to the wavier story. From December 1998 to March 2000, 24 waivers were granted and one denied for roads. Thirty-eight were granted and three denied for stormwater and flood plain. Thirty-nine were granted and zero denied for wetlands and steep slopes. The overdevelopers clearly need more reining in:

1. Require notice of a waiver anda, after the studies and reports have been submitted, an evening Planning and Code Enforcement meeting where all groups and individuals can speak.

2. Have the final grant of a waiver signed by the county executive.

3. Adopt Maryland Department of Environment’s new stormwater management standards.

4. Require a road to functionally exist to satisfy the road standards. Now, only 30 percent of a road’s construction money needs to be in the budget.

5. Make developers pay the real cost of road improvements, not a measly $2 to $3,000.

6. Don’t upgrade a road’s label (e.g., “minor arterial”) to help a developer meet road standards.

7. Make a re-subdivision go through the same process as an original subdivision.

8. End the policy of encouraging new developments to fix flaws in old developments.

9. Begin the policy that peninsulas not be fully saturated with development since they cannot sustain the necessary roads and stormwater drainage.

What will happen to 360 waivers pending from this 15-month moratorium? Some are minor, but most are substantive. We must help the county executive resist the overdevelopers. They have no more right to ruin a road, a slope or a creek than to ruin a school.

—J.A. Hoage, Severna Park

Another Squirrely Victory

Dear Bay Weekly:

Bill Burton’s “Burton Victorious” column (April 13-19) really hit home. Two years ago I gave my parents, who live in Bloomfield, N.J., a designer bird feeder as an oddball Christmas present.

My father had problems with squirrels climbing the pole right away, so being a little crafty himself, he mounted an upside-down plastic bucket as a barrier. It worked for over a year. The bucket had four small slots for drainage. The squirrels finally figured out a way to hold on while they gnawed ever so slowly to make the slot bigger. The squirrels finally won.

My stopgap fix employed duct tape since it works on everything. I covered the slots with the tape. On the inside of the bucket, where the sticky side is exposed, we coated the tape with red-hot cayenne pepper. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Keep up the interesting articles.

—Bill Lang, Chesapeake Beach

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly