Speaker: Dan Woomer, Vice President, Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association (LSIA)
Hearing:North County High School
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Time: Start: 5:00pm
The Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association (LSIA) with over 500 active member household, representing over 2,700 households.
Linthicum, and our neighboring communities are facing many challenges with which your administration could help address. These challenges include, but are not limited to: BWI Airport Noise pollution, SCMagLev, Roads, Over Development, Property Tax Cap, Light Rail, and Senior Income Tax Break. I, as well as other members of the LSIA, would be pleased to meet and discuss any or all of these challenges with you, and provide additional information.
Brief Community History:
Linthicum, comprising the communities of North Linthicum, Linthicum, Crestwood and Linthicum-Shipley is a small town located south of Baltimore City, in Anne Arundel County. Our history dates back to the mid-1600’s as part of a land grant from England which led to the Linthicum and Shipley families establishing some of the earliest agricultural interests in our County. This farming area has evolved over the past centuries into a residential community. Following the advent of train travel, our community became a place for lawyers, doctors, bankers, and others to move out of the city and into a more open and quiet community. Following WWII, Linthicum evolved into a suburb made up of residences, schools, our own fire station, our own post office, with small, medium and large businesses. Linthicum, as a community, officially became a named community in 1901. Linthicum families typically come to stay, with many families having five or more generations rooted in our community. Of course, the Linthicum and Shipley families have far deeper roots. We are proud of our modern community, with a small-town character and lifestyle. And we want to continue to keep Linthicum one of the best places to live and raise a family.
Over the past 40 years, Linthicum has seen the constant encroachment of development with little actions needed on infrastructure and support systems needed to meet the needs of the expanding population of residents and businesses.
Here’s our observations:
(1) BWI Airport Noise
With the implementation of Next-Gen the jet engine noise is bombarding our communities. MAA and the BWI Roundtable are working to have FAA reinstate the prior flight routes and requirements to reach flight altitude to reduce the noise our communities are suffering with each and every day.
The building of the SCMagLev will have little to no benefit for Marylanders, yet disrupt and destroy sections of AA and PG Counties, contaminating our community’s environment, and take millions of dollars away from needed infrastructure improvements.
(3) Hyperloop, Now Loop
Pretty much the same concerns as we have with the SCMagLev. The Loop will have little to no benefit for Marylanders, but if built, serve a small number of those wealthy enough to purchase a Tesla. Not exactly your average family vehicle.
(4) Over Development
School crowding, road and utility overloading, increased congestion and increasing danger of accidents for our community residents. Linthicum is a small town being constantly encroached upon by developers and witnessing our greenspaces disappear forever. Enough. Until the roads, utilities and schools have the capacity, additional development needs to end.
Encroaching development, over development and infill development have placed an increasing load on our community roads, storm water management, and utility systems. For example, Andover Road and Maple Road are primary entry and exit routes in and out of our community. Andover Road has seen a huge increase in traffic with the development of offices and businesses off W. Nursey Road. Both roads have deteriorated for years and promises since 2014 have been made to rebuild these arteries. We ask you and your administration to work with the State to prioritize these projects so they start this year.
(6) Prior Developmental Plan Lies
My 1st attendance at a GDP presentation, I asked if additional development would be allowed off of W. Nursey Road, taking more of the wooded buffer between the community of Linthicum and the businesses and offices accessed via W. Nursey Road. The answer was no additional development would be possible as the area is a designated flood plain and open space. Ten years later, more development had occurred, and the next ten-year plan indicated more would be developed. Again, I was told no additional development would be possible as the area is a designated flood plain and open space. Again, the situation repeats itself. More of the buffer is being removed today, right now. I assume one way the encroaching development will be curtailed is when the greenspace buffer is gone.
(7) Property Tax Cap
Every household and business must live within its means, our County government should be no different. The Property Tax Cap was passed by a large majority of voters to force the County government to live within its means. Our household incomes do not increase more than the cost-of-living, and many have not seen a cost-of-living increase for years. We prioritize our expenses; the County government must do the same. The State of Maryland is one of the highest taxed States in the union. Do not circumvent the Property Tax Cap, it is one of the few remaining reasons more seniors and retirees have not left Maryland for more tax friendly States.
AA County tax revenues should have risen in proportion all of the development in the County since the Property Tax Cap passed, and the population explosion in the County since the Property Tax Cap passed. Why is this increase now insufficient to meet the County needs? Who will be next hand out crying in the 2021 County budget saying we need more money?
(8) Light Rail
We are asking that your administration continues the increased security around our communities’ light rail stations started a few years ago. Linthicum and Ferndale residents have witnessed individuals use the light rail to come into our communities and engage in aggressive panhandling, theft and other more serious offences. One request for your administration is to modify the AA County Police incident tracking and reporting system to capture the information if the person or persons being detained did use the light rail to enter our communities. The current system does not capture this information, and thus the criminal activity reports generated do not reflect an association with the light rail. Adding this capability would help capture such data and criminal activity reports would more accurately reflect such occurrences and provide a means to bring the communities together in a more common and constructive manner.
In conclusion, with your administration’s help, this area development plan can address the many challenges facing our communities.
Again, thank you for this opportunity to testify at this hearing.
I have provided a printed copy of my testimony for your review and records.