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Zoning Opponents Deliver 16,000 More Signatures

First deadline for turning in signatures closes at the end of business Monday.

Two groups that are attempting to force some zoning changes to the 2014 ballot submitted an addition 16,000 signatures Monday.

The groups, the Committee for Zoning Integrity and the Committee for Zoning Transparency, delivered the additional signatures to the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

On Friday, the total signatures—34,000 signatures for the petition on the 6th district zoning issues and another 36,662 on the 2nd Council District.

The additional signatures delivered Monday come as the first deadline passes for the referendum effort.

Opponents of the bills, backed by developers including David Cordish and David S. Brown Enterprises, must submit at least 28,826 verified signatures of Baltimore County voters. The group can buy itself an extra 30-days if they can reach at least 9,513.

The signatures will take several days to verify.

ReisterstownMAN October 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
3 wegmans? wow exaggeration....a lil much there chuckles
ReisterstownMAN October 16, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Alpha...what the heck are you talking about? How often in a day....do you drive on Reisterstown rd that you are so worried about traffic? why dont you go during the day to the hunt valley area (MONDAY-FRIDAY) during noon and see how busy they are....guess you want to see more empty buildings on reisterstown rd growing grass on cement such as 5 different properties...thats what you want. good citizen
Chuck Burton October 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM
People have to realize that SOMETHING is going to go in at the the corner of Reisterstown and Painters Mill. The idealists want a PARK - that would mostly be used by addicts and people with guns... and victims. That would certainly be great for area business. Anything else is going to involve traffic problems. So, if it's Wegmans, many people will drop in on their way home from work. Won't rush hour be largely over by the time they leave, so won't it effectively just spread the rush over a longer period, with less volume at any given moment? Isn't that better than all offices, for example, where all the workers are entering or leaving at a certain hour in the morning and again in the evening?
wakeupchuck October 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Yes -- the EQUIVALENT of three Wegmans. Wegmans is 140,000 square feet of space. Foundry Row is about 400,000 square feet of space. That's 260,000 additional space feet composed of clothing stores, liquor stores, book stores, fitness centers, restaurants and anything else you would like to imagine. And, that means lots of traffic.
Michael October 16, 2012 at 02:56 PM
My biggest issue with the opponents to Wegman's trying to get this issue as a referendum is that people in Baltimore County who have no reason to be voting on it will have the ability to control what comes to Owings Mills. Why should a Dundalk or Catonsville resident have any say whatsoever about whether a Wegman's comes to Owings Mills. This was resolved with the County Council vote. Now the opponents need to live with it and move on. If you disapprove, don't shop there.
Rose Bognanni October 16, 2012 at 03:08 PM
It is my understanding if it goes to referdum, it will affect ALL zoning for this session...which means Nothing that has been passed would be valid. Dear Mr Brown ad Co. I think you just shot your selfish self in the foot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blue Alpha October 16, 2012 at 03:10 PM
So all of the people dying for Wegmans - please tell me your vision for filling the inevitable empty Giant and Safeway. While you're at it - fill the empty Bed Bath and Beyond as they're supposed to move to Foundry from the Toys R Us Center. Also, fill the empty Best Buy when HH Gregg goes to Foundry. What about filling all the empty liquor store spaces when a 10,000 square foot Wegmans family owned liquor store opens up next to Wegmans. I could go on. They can't keep Hunt Valley full but somehow this one project is going to magically cure what woes Owings Mills. Get real.
ddbs00 October 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
You must have never been to a Wegmans if you think you can just "parachute in," get what you need, and then leave. Wegmans is a destination not a stopover.
wakeupmichael October 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Really, Michael? You think this is an Owings Mills-only issue? My goodness you don't seem to be paying attention. It is about the zoning process being hi-jacked and community members bypassed. All it took was to convince one councilperson -- then the rest (absent one) followed like soldiers. This is about protecting the interests of all Baltimore County businesses. The referendum actually places this back in the hands of the citizens, where it should be. One day you might understand that.
ddbs00 October 16, 2012 at 03:15 PM
If anything should be turned into a park it's the Owings Mills Mall.
Chuck Burton October 16, 2012 at 03:20 PM
And the lawyers will LOVE it!!
Michael October 16, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I understand the issue just fine. I know this is not an Owings Mills only issue, but how do you separate the issue in Owings Mills from the other zoning issues? You can't say that you can only vote on the zoning issues in your area. My problem with "putting it back in the hands of the citizens", as you put it, is that it is not in the hands of the citizens most impacted by it, but in the hands of all of the citizens of Baltimore County. Frankly, the issue belongs in the hands of the citizens in the area impacted ONLY, and a referendum does not allow for this, since it becomes a county-wide vote. I am for the Wegman's, but if a vote of the Owings Mills only citizenry were possible and they voted against it, I would understand. You say the zoning process has been hi-jacked. Putting it in the hands of the voters county-wide makes this worse. Who is to stop the developers from promising a new shopping center in Essex or Woodlawn for their votes against the project in Owings Mills?
Michael October 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM
And btw, for someone posting for the first time here, you really should choose a more appropriate profile name, unless it is your intention to object to my every post in an attempt to get me to "wake up".
Chuck Burton October 16, 2012 at 03:46 PM
1. If Giant and Safeway make their stores shopable and desireable, they will prosper. 2. Maybe Toys R Us (Babys R Us) will expand. 3. Best Buy seems to be on its way out, anyhow - a casualty of the battle between Amazon and Walmart. 4. Is HH Gregg going into the Row? I hadn't heard. I seems to have a better reputation than BB, anyway, and will IT survive the A-W battle? 5. There will be no Wegmans liquor store (unfortunately - as also no Trader Joe's). Howard county shot down that idea, and so will Baltimore county. the liquor lobby is too powerful. 6. I know there have been problems with Ray Lewis's project at Hunt Valley - is there anything else?
Chuck Burton October 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM
And, as I said before, the lawyers will LOVE it!!!
Maryland October 16, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Blue Alpha is awfully protective of Howard Brown. What do you have to say about the 1,700 apartments, 1.2 million square feet of office, and 300,000 square feet of retail going in to Metro Centre, all with no public input, no offsite traffic improvements, and a $57 million handout from the state and county?
Maryland October 16, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Foundry Row is less than half the size of the mall, and less than 1/6 the size of Metro Centre, yet Wegmans gets the blame for traffic increases.
Maryland October 16, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The owner of the St. Thomas Giant center supports Foundry Row, so maybe you should ask him. I can't say the same for Safeway, because according to The Sun this morning, their landlord spent $100K toward the astroturf referendum.
Maryland October 16, 2012 at 04:29 PM
wakeupmichael, how was the zoning process hijacked? Did you not attend the public hearing? Can you point out one example how the CZMP process was different this time? Personally, I don't want someone in Middle River voting on the fate of my Wegmans, just as I don't feel I have the right to vote on the location of their Walmart.
ReisterstownMAN October 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Alpha, first of Giant has 2 stores on Reisterstown Rd close to eachother... they can close one and would be okay with it...they are garbage anyway....safeway also not a fan as many are not..
ReisterstownMAN October 16, 2012 at 05:03 PM
So what you are saying is....if a store wants to come to DUNDALK...I SHOULD CARE? LMAO!! I DONT CARE WHAT GOES INTO A DUNDALK LOCATION I CARE ABOUT REISTERSTOWN/PIKESVILLE/OWINGS MILLS! Dundalk folks should not be voting on a WEGMANS Coming to owings mills!
ReisterstownMAN October 16, 2012 at 05:06 PM
You talk about protecting baltimore county businesses? GIANT IS NOT A REISTERSTOWN BUSINESS! NOR IS A SAFEWAY...IS THIS WHAT YOU ARE PROTECTING? THEY ARE FRANCHISES THAT ARE MONEY HUNGRY AND WANT IT ALL TO THEMSELVES. Lets not forget we have a MARS in Reisterstown that still has business and is not fased by a monopoly in the area GIANT, that has 2 locations within a 10 mile radius..a total of 3 stores on REisterstown RD and a 4th on Reisterstown RD plaza... so they are scared a little business will be going to WEGMANS.. and so are you...
ReisterstownMAN October 16, 2012 at 05:07 PM
the ones who dont support WEGMANS are people who want empty buildings in the area... look at OWINGS MILLS MALL...30 years it has taken for someone to speak out.... 1 security gaurd....pot holes,no stores, no workers, disgusting, crime, etc etc etc.. this is what you want I see...
Mike Pierce October 16, 2012 at 05:21 PM
This referendum affects all the zoning in the 2nd District, even a good down-zoning that many people fought for, and is now probably lost. The other one affects everything in the 6th District. They don't affect the other 5 districts.
Michael October 16, 2012 at 05:34 PM
And that is the problem with it going to referendum at all! Why should voters in the other 5 districts get any say on how the zoning is handled in the 2 in question? If there is a problem with the way zoning is handled in Baltimore County, and I am not saying that there is or isn't, this is not the way to fix it. A change to the zoning process needs to be discussed, not a change to already determined zoning, just to please some unhappy business owners who may lose some money to competition.
Chuck Burton October 16, 2012 at 05:58 PM
One thing I'm not clear on: does this referendum even apply to zoning decisions already made? If it does, every zoning decision in Districts 2 and 6 is at risk and must be referred to the public of the county as a whole for a final decision (except then it can go to the courts and make the lawyers happy).
Michael October 16, 2012 at 06:11 PM
That is what is unclear. The referendum would not be until the November 2014 election. How can they stop 2+ years of work that has already been done on the projects that they are objecting to?
Buck Harmon October 16, 2012 at 09:28 PM
O, and by the way....the lawyers DO love it...Smith clan included..
Tom Kiefaber October 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Yada, yada. So many fervent opinions expressed with sound and fury, yet so little awareness of the complex, interrelated issues involved.
Chuck Burton October 23, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Things are really not that complex. 1. Owings Mills, despite being named a growth area in the Baltimore County Master Plan, has been in decline for some years. 2. Wegmans, a grocery chain with an excellent reputation, has identified the former SOLO cup factory as a desireable location for a store which would help improve the image and reputation of Owings Mills, and a reputable developer has purchased the property and wants to accomodate Wegmans, along with other retailers and offices. 3. Several other developers do not wish that competition with their own plans, and have mounted a campaign to sidetrack it, using, in part legitimate concern about traffic in and around the property. 4. The would-be developer of the property has come up with plans that would, at his own expense, at least largely alleviate the traffic problems, and has satisfied the concerns of the zoning authorities and the County Council, which have given their go-ahead. 5. The other developers have now mounted a political campaign to halt, or seriously delay the development of the property in question, whether the people of the neighborhood want it or not, and even though it would tend to further the decline of the region. 6. SOMETHING will eventually go into that property. Will it be as desireable as Wegmans It's only as complex as people make it out to be.

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