North County Update
What's Happening in North County
By Justin Szech
LSIA Board members recently attended meetings that were set up by the County Executive regarding the General Development Plan as well as a meeting called by Councilman Pete Smith regarding changes coming to the Cromwell Field shopping center. In lieu of an article this month, we decided it was more important to inform the membership about these meetings as well as where we are as an organization regarding the proposed SCMAGLEV train.
The meeting was held on September 25th at the Ferndale VFC Hall. Councilman Smith as well as Delegates Beidle, Chang, and Sophocleus were all in attendance along with representatives from the County Police, MTA Police, and the owners of Cromwell Field.
Many of the Ferndale resident concerns about the Light Rail as well as the shopping center included the following:
-Illicit drug use
-Needles on the ground
-Perceived lack of enforcement regarding ticketing and loitering
-Inappropriate location for the plasma center
-Increased numbers of homeless individuals
-Constant and aggressive panhandling at Cromwell Field
-Closure of the Giant on 10/25
Most of the elected officials present pointed out that Anne Arundel County is still facing a police officer shortage. MTA Police Captain Shawn Wallace also pointed out that there are only 65 officers that are covering the Light Rail and the subway system thus ticket enforcement is sporadic. Captain Ravenell (County Police) stated there have been 100 arrests at Cromwell since January 1, and that most of those arrests are officer generated while on patrol and not a result of a call for service. Giant alone has had 150 police responses since January 1. Captain Ravenell also implored citizens to call 911 if they see suspicious activity.
Councilman Smith proposed the following:
-Speaking to the County Health Officer regarding closing the Plasma Center
-Pressure CSL Plasma to hire/increase on site security
-Creation of a homeless community on Ordnance Road, away from existing communities
-Looking into the existing law that states you must have a ‘No Trespassing’ sign in order to enforce trespassing.
Broadstreet Realty currently owns the shopping center and their representative indicated that the current business and many of the problems existed prior to their purchase of the property. Broadstreet maintains that CSL has a long-term lease and will be a tenant for the foreseeable future.
While this is not a ‘Linthicum issue’ many of us frequent the Cromwell Field shopping center and have patronized the Giant for years. Issues that affect Glen Burnie and Ferndale often impact Linthicum as well. We wish everyone well from the Cromwell Giant and look forward to seeing those employees at the new Giant in Glen Burnie when it opens on October 26.
General Development Plan
The GDP meeting was held on September 25th at North County High School. It’s main purpose was to bring awareness as well as solicit feedback from the community as Anne Arundel County prepares its 2040 General Development Plan.
Attendees were asked to ‘vote’ for emphasis on what areas of county life and services were of most importance to them. This includes categories such as, environment, open space, public transportation, etc.
Some of the main concerns voiced by North County residents include:
-Light Rail removal or modification
-SCMAGLEV and what many believe will ultimately destroy this community
-Increasing traffic congestion
-Decreasing property values
-Land development that is outpacing infrastructure improvements
If you missed the meeting at North County High, there will be additional meetings held throughout the county. THIS IS CRITICAL. Linthicum is nestled in an area that has become increasingly developed, industrialized, and urbanized. These meetings are YOUR CHANCE to give feedback to Planning and Zoning officials about what matters to you and this community.
These meetings run from 6-8PM.
October 17, 2017 Broadneck High School
November 30, 2017 Old Mill High School
December 11, 2017 Arundel High School
January 11, 2018 Annapolis High School
January 29, 2018 Northeast High School
February 8, 2018 Southern High School
February 22, 2018 Brooklyn Park Middle School
Special Thanks to Shawn Murphy and Kevin Plessner for contributing to this article.