LSIA representatives meet with Senator Van Hollen reagrding SCMAGLEV study

By Suzzie Schuyler & Dan Woomer

Important update regarding the LSIA opposition to the BWRR's proposed SCMAGLEV project:

Organized and invited by Dennis Brady, from Prince George's County and lead for Citizens Against SCMagLev (CATS), Suzzie Schuyler (LSIA), Dan Woomer (LSIA) and community leaders with other concerned citizens from Bowie and Greenbelt met with Senator Van Hollen in his Washington, DC, office on Thursday, January 11, 2017.

Working with our partner communities, we express our concerns with the proposed SCMagLev system to the Senator and staff. We were pleased to see that they were prepared, open minded, and attentive. Our concerns were heard, and he was engaging by asking probing questions which were all addressed. His staff will review the information we provided. In addition, the Senator has directed his staff to review the NEPA process and Grant language. They will report back to him with their findings and he will make a determination for the next step.

It is the consensus of the group that the discrepancy and the language difference between NEPA and the EIS scope is in conflict. Our hope is the review will either end the process for the SCMagLev system or force the inclusion of the alternative solutions such as the existing Amtrak services and their (Northeast Corridor) NEC FUTURE Plan. We were pleased the Senator shared our concerns with cost and community impact.

Please visit us at www.lsia.net for more community news and information.

Speed Humps: Pros & Cons

Speed Calming Humps - Pros and Cons

by: Dan Woomer

Revised & Updated 1/5/2018 by Kevin Plessner and Dan Woomer

Our neighbors on Forest View Road and West Maple Road recently asked LSIA to assist in installing Speed Calming Humps to slow the traffic through their streets.  Anne Arundel County (the “County”) conducted two (2) traffic studies on Forest View Road and one (1) study on West Maple Road.  The County study results concluded the amount of traffic on Forest View Road does not warrant the installation of Speed Calming Humps.  However, for West Maple Road, the County did conclude there was sufficient traffic (between 1,000 and 1,500 vehicles per day), and the average speed of the vehicles recorded during the study were exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour.  With the combination of these two findings, the County concluded that the West Maple Road findings do support the installation of Speed Calming Humps.  Currently, for West Maple Road, the proposal is to install three (3) Speed Calming Humps. 

There are two key events that need to occur before the installation can move forward:

(1)  The affected residents must approve the installation of the Speed Calming Humps, and

(2)  The community must come up with the funding to pay for the Speed Calming Hump installation.

On the latter point, LSIA is working on securing the required funding.

In order to determine whether the community approves of the installation of the Speed Calming Humps, LSIA will hold a meeting to obtain community input and conduct a vote to install or not install the proposed Speed Calming Humps of the affected residents.  Affected residents include all homes on West Maple Road, Dogwood Road, Shortcross Road, Longcross Road up to Greenwood Road, Groveland Road up to Hawthorne Road, and Woodland Road up to Hawthorne Road.

“Speed Bumps” versus “Speed Humps” -

Speed Bumps are often installed on large parking lots to significantly slow traffic.  The “Bumps” are not very wide and have a high crown.  Vehicles driving over these do have to significantly slow down or otherwise experience a very jarring bump as they cross over the bumps.

Speed Calming Humps are also installed to slow traffic.  The “Humps” are typically used on residential roads, like West Maple Road, to slow vehicle speeds.  The “Humps” are much wider than “Speed Bumps” with a similar crown height.  The profile of the Speed Calming Hump is designed to allow vehicles to cross over the “Humps” at or below the posted speed limit without much of a jarring to the vehicle.  As the vehicle speed increases over the posted speed limit, the jarring to the vehicle increases.

Quite often the terms “Speed Humps” and “Speed Bumps” are used interchangeably.  What is being considered to be installed on West Maple road are “Speed Humps.”

What’s The Problem -

As verified by the Anne Arundel County study on traffic using West Maple Road, excessive speeding is a real problem.  The excessive vehicle speed is a danger to all, including to the children riding bikes, scooters and skate boards, or otherwise crossing, walking and running on our residential streets, as well as our neighbors walking their dogs, biking or jogging around our community.  Vehicles that are exceeding the speed limit while driving through our community need to be slowed down.

What’s Happened in the Past -

Anne Arundel County police set up a speed “trap” on West Maple Road, stopping anyone exceeding the speed limit by more than 5 miles per hours.  Several residents were stopped and received speeding tickets or warnings.

Again, speeding on West Maple Road has been a long-term problem, and it is unlikely we can have Anne Arundel County Police continue to maintain a speed trap to catch those driving along West Maple Road traveling faster than the posted speed limit.

It is also unlikely installing an electronic “Speed Warning Sign” (like the ones we see near schools) will have much of an effect on reducing vehicle speeds on West Maple Road.

Install Speed Humps – A View from the Past

This is not the first time the idea of installing Speed Humps on West Maple Road was investigated.  During November to December 1999, the residents along West Maple Road were pursuing the installation of speed humps, but the affected community residents were surveyed and 77% voted against installing Speed Calming Humps on West Maple Road.  Specifically, of the 104 “qualified” ballots (one is postmarked by December 3, 1999), 80 households (77%) were against installing Speed Calming Humps on West Maple Road and 24 households (23%) were in favor.  It is worth noting that of the 30 West Maple Road resident ballots counted, 15 residents were in favor of installing the Speed Calming Humps and 15 were opposed—a 50-50 split.  Residents in favor of installing the Speed Calming Humps tried to collect funds for the installation themselves but were unable to do so.

Since the vote was held in 1999, the speed problem appears to be continuing. There is now hard data confirming the problem with a significant number of the daily vehicle traffic speeding on West Maple Road.  Such speeding poses a real danger to our neighbors.  Thus, the possible installation of Speed Calming Humps is again being investigated.

Here are some of the PROs to install Speed Calming Humps –

(1) There is a real and verified speeding problem on West Maple Road that poses a danger to our neighbors.

(2) Speed Calming Humps are known to slow vehicle traffic.  Keeping vehicle traffic speeds closer to the posted speed limit increases the safety for our neighbors.

Here are some of the CONs to installing Speed Calming Humps -

(1) They are expensive to install and expensive to maintain - Speed humps can cost $4,500 to $7,500.

Source: The Washington Post, Sept. 9, 2008

UPDATE 1/2/2017 – The Anne Arundel County cost estimate is less than $1,900 per speed hump and the project is expected to be funded by LSIA using a Community Enhancement Grant. LSIA will consider maintenance to the Speed Humps should any be necessary in the future.

(2) Speed Humps slow the response times of emergency vehicles.  Police and other emergency vehicles response time are slowed by about three seconds for each Speed Calming Hump they must cross.  Given the onboard water and vehicle weight, each Speed Calming Hump costs fire engines ten seconds in response time.  Add this on top of the possible delay waiting for the light rail crossing can cause.  Linthicum is blessed with the close proximity of emergency services in our community.  As a community to a wide range of ages, rapid access from our youngest to our oldest community members in times of need is critical to saving lives and property.  Sometimes seconds count – heart attack, stroke, pedestrian hit by a vehicle, fire, etc.

Source: ABC Orlando/WFTV, Jan. 28, 2010

Fire Capt. Jeffrey Martin, St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 2, 2008

Tampa Tribune, Sept. 20, 2008

 

(3) Speed Humps can reduce property values - prospective homebuyers might reject home sites near speed humps.

Source: Tampa Bay Online, Sept. 30, 2009

(4) Speed Humps increase noise levels - Speed Calming Humps usher in the sounds of scraping cars and engines revving over the humps.

Tampa Bay Online, Aug. 12, 2009

(5) Speed Humps have a negative effect on the environment, increasing pollution as vehicles slow well below the speed limit and then accelerate away.  They increase air pollution - on roads with Speed Calming Humps, one study found carbon monoxide emissions increased by 82 percent, carbon dioxide emissions double and nitrogen oxide increased by 37 percent.

Source: BBC.com, April 22, 2009

(6) Speed Humps reduce vehicle fuel efficiency and increase gas consumption because drivers brake and accelerate as they traverse each Speed Calming Hump.

Source: BBC.com, April 22, 2009

(7) Speed Humps increase noise levels where they are implemented.  This is due to both engine and brake noise from people slowing down and speeding up and from trucks and school busses that bounce as they cross the Speed Calming Hump.

(8) Speed Humps can cause damage to vehicles, particularly performance vehicles (even at low speed).  They increase the wear and tear on residential and commercial vehicles - Speed Calming Humps are a source of excessive wear on tires, brakes, suspension systems, shock absorbers and rattle dashboards.

Source: The Natchez Democrat, Oct. 28, 2009

(9) Speed Humps may cause discomfort to drivers and passengers.

(10) Speed Humps cause ground vibration when vehicles navigate them and send shockwaves to the nearby homes. The cumulative effect has been proven to damage nearby properties, such as cracks developing in exterior masonry walls and in the drywall constructed walls within homes.  In fact, the official UK regulations state that such humps may not be implemented anywhere within 25 meters of bridges, subways or tunnels.

(11) Speed Humps often divert traffic to alternative residential streets.  Greenwood & Hawthorne will likely see an increase in traffic as residents living on North and South Longcross, Groveland Road, and Woodland Road, will choose to avoid Maple Road, especially when heading north on Hammonds Ferry Road.  Cleveland Road and Shipley Road will likely see some uptick in traffic as residents move to avoid using West Maple Road.

 

(12) Speed Humps cost drivers money by using more fuel and brake pads in addition to the damage caused to suspension, oil sumps and exhausts, etc.  Such damage makes cars more dangerous.

 

(13) When vehicles drive over Speed Humps with their lights on, this points the dipped beam up to eye level.  This not only causes light pollution in nearby houses, but also gives the illusion of the headlights being flashed, dazing and causing confusion to other motorists, which increases the potential for accidents.

 

(14) Speed Humps are expensive to remove. Municipalities, under pressure by citizens and enforced by the courts, have been forced to remove speed humps at great expense to tax payers.

Source: Tampa Bay Online, Sept. 30, 2009

 

(15) Speed Humps are a poor substitute for active enforcement.

 

Specifically, for West Maple Road:

(1) West Maple Road has historically served as the main route to enter the residential area, and as the Anne Arundel County traffic study indicates, this remains the primary entry into the residential area.

 

(2) Again, historically, West Maple Road is the first road cleared following a snow event.  When there have been significant snow events, West Maple Road to Woodland Road and down Cleveland Road to Nursery Road were the roads first cleared.  There have been occasions when the connection roads, like Greenwood, Hawthorne Road, Longcross Road, etc., were not cleared until one to two days later.  During this period, West Maple Road was the only entry to the streets crossing West Maple Road.

 

(3) With snow and ice on West Maple Road, vehicles needed to accelerate to make it up the hill.  It is unknown whether the Speed Calming Humps will have an effect on the ability to generate the momentum needed to make it up the hill.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

So, What are We to Do -

While there are known negative consequences with the installation of Speed Calming Humps, something needs to be done to slow the vehicle speeds on West Maple Road.  The installation of Speed Calming Humps may be the best solution available.  If the community decides to move forward with the installation we will need to see if any of the known negative consequences materialize and assess the degree of their impact.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Reference Sources -

 

Web sites:

http://www.radarsign.com/why-municipalities-are-moving-away-from-speed-humps/

 

https://www.motorists.org/issues/traffic-calming/problems/

 

Articles:

Reuben Castenada and Steven Gray, “Maryland Boy, 13, Dies in Fire at Friend’s Sleepover,” THE WASHINGTON POST, June 15, 1998 (Firefighter Stottlemeyer descends into basement to rescue child as flashover occurs forcing his exit from the home.)

 

Jen Chaney, “Fatal fire renews speed hump debate,” GAITHERSBERG GAZETTE, July 8, 1998 (Impact of delay caused by humps on street on rescue of child.)

 

Editorial, “Meeting air standards Maine’s obligation too,” PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, October 17, 1997 (Ruling of EPA)

 

Editorial, “Street Fights,” THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, July 12, 1994 (Closures foster exclusivity rather than community.)

 

Dan Feldstein, “Brown has 911 gate removed,” THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, August 18, 1998 (“Closure denies emergency access.”)

 

Dan Feldstein, “Subdivision struggles with great barrier rift,” THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, February 22, 1999

 

Kristen Green, ”It’s neighbor vs. neighbor over Santee speed bumps,” THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE, March 7, 2000

 

Kristen Green, “Disabled woman wins fight to remove speed bumps on her street,” THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE, May 12, 2000

 

Jean-Martin Kuntscher, “Speed bumps cause ten times more air pollution,” ALLIANCE INTERNATIONALE DE TOURISME, FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE L’AUTOMOBILE, September 6, 1994

 

Lisa Marshall, “Circles called hazards,” THE DAILY CAMERA, December 12, 1996

 

Paul Marston, “Humps increase exhaust fumes,” UK NEWS, ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH, January 14, 1998

 

Bruce Nichols, “Houston hits the brakes on speed-humps,” THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, (“Deterrent for drivers raises worries about police, fire response.”) August 1, 1999

 

Amy Reinholds, “Whittier attempts mediation… Neighbors square off on traffic issue” THE DAILY CAMERA, January 21, 1997

 

Amy Reinholds, “Slip-sliding away at Pine St. traffic circle”, THE COLORADO DAILY, November 20, 1996

 

Judith Scherr, “Berkeley’s bumpy battle,” BERKELEY DAILY PLANET, March 27, 2000 (Berkeley Commission on Disability takes stand against humps.)

 

Mark Shanahan, “Federal government pulls funds from traffic-slowing experiment,” PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, August 18, 1998

 

Matt Schwartz, “HUD labels Dian Street gate discriminatory, asks removal,” THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, October 15, 1998

 

Joanne B. Walker, “Speed bumps, tables meet legal obstacle,” ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, August 1998 (Judge Bennett rules in favor of 2 citizens who have filed suit against city for placing devices on streets used for traffic control which are not approved traffic control devices in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.)

 

John Williams, “Street Warfare” (Intersection sealing brings racism calls.) THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, July 10, 1994

 

John Williams, “Probe of bias and street closings looks at use of federal money,” THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, December 16, 1994

 

Reports / Papers:

Accessible Rights-of-Way: Sidewalks, street crossings, other pedestrian facilities, U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, U.S. Access Board, November 1999.

 

“All Vehicle VOC and NOX Emission Factors by Speed, Summer and Winter,” graph provided by Ron Severence, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 1997

 

An Analysis of Leadership, Politics and Ethics in the Stevens Avenue Traffic Calming Project, Part III, Ethics in the Stevens Avenue Project” by Scott Landry, Scot Mattox, Sara & Celeste Vigor, May 14, 1998 (Graduate paper for Muskie Institute at University of Maine Law School)

 

Boulder Fire Department Master Plan, Kevin Klein for City of Boulder CO, 1996

 

Building a True Community Final Report, Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee, U.S. Access Board, January 10, 2001

 

Deaths Expected from Delayed Emergency Response Due to Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation, Ronald R. Bowman, April 3, 1997

 

An Evaluation of the Speed Hump Program in the City of Berkeley, October 1997 (Damage to vehicles, impact on ambulance and fire services and people with disabilities.)

 

Guidelines for the Design and Application of Speed Humps, Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1997

 

The Impacts of Traffic Calming Measures on Vehicle Exhaust Emissions, United Kingdom, Transport Research Laboratory Report 482, PG Boulter, AJ Hickman

 

“Motor-Vehicle-Related Deaths Involving Intoxicated Pedestrians” – United States, 1982-1992,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 43 / No. 14

 

911 Emergency Gate Review, Fire Chief Les Tyra, City of Houston Fire Department, November 17, 1998

 

Possible Neighborhood Traffic Calming Methods, Report to city council of Sunnyvale, CA, February 4, 1997 (Potential liability.)

 

Speed Hump/UC Plan Presentation Outline, draft report, Susan Sanderson, Transportation Planner, City of Berkeley, (Emergency response concerns from proliferation of speed humps. Humps not the tool felt they were.) 1995.

 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest, The American Heart Association, 1996

 

A Survey of Traffic Calming Practices in the United States, Institute of Urban and Regional Development by Asha Weinstein and Elizabeth Deakin, University of California at Berkeley, March 1998, (Conflict in neighborhoods.)

 

Stevens Avenue Traffic Calming Project, DeLuca-Hoffman Associates Inc., May 27, 1998, Portland, Maine (Increased accidents and pollution from traffic calming project.)

 

Traffic Calming: State of the Practice, Reid Ewing, ITE/FHWA, 1999

 

Traffic Calming and vehicle emissions: A literature review, Transport Research Laboratory Report 307, United Kingdom, P. G. Boulter and D. C. Webster, 1997

 

Federal Documents:

Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II, State and Local Government, Justice regulations, 28 CFR, 35.151, “New construction and alterations.”

 

Clean Air Act, EPA, Title 1, Part A, Air Quality and Emission Limits, Sec. 113 Federal Limits

 

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Millennium Edition, USDOT/FHWA, 2000

 

Traffic Safety Facts 2000, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, USDOT

 

Time Trials:

“An Analysis of Speed Hump Effects on Response Times,” City of Austin, TX Fire Department, January 20, 1999

 

“The Effects of Speed Humps and Traffic Circles on Responding Fire-Rescue Apparatus in Montgomery County, Maryland,” Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Commission, August 1997

 

The Influence of Traffic Calming Devices on Fire Vehicle Travel Times,” Portland Bureau of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Service, January 1996

 

Memorandum from Nels Tahti, Administrative Analyst, City of Roseville, CA Fire Department (Time trials on streets with series of speed humps), June 4, 1991

 

Letters:

Letter from Earl Noe, “I have disabled your car… because you have so little regard for laws,” THE BOULDER PLANET, October 9-15, 1996 (Opponent of devices has tires slashed.)

 

Letter from Karen Craig, Chair, Commission on Disability, Berkeley CA to Berkeley Mayor and City Council, November 10, 1998 (Problems of the disabled with vertical deflection devices.)

 

Letter from Special Transit of Boulder, CO to Boulder City Council, April 3, 1997 (Problems of disabled riders with vertical and horizontal deflection devices.)

 

Letter from Steven Beningo, Division Transportation Planner, USDOT, to Commissioner John Melrose, Maine DOT, August 13, 1998, (Rescinds funds for Portland’s traffic calming project because of increased emissions.)

 

Legal Documents:

Affidavit of Settlement for Permanent Disability for fire fighter, George Gosbee, Montgomery County, MD, 1998 (Settlement of $ 3,000 per month for life for injury sustained when hit speed hump traveling to scene of emergency.)

 

Appellant’s Brief in, Slager v. Duncan and Montgomery County MD to U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (Unpublished opinion, sets no precedent by rules of the court.)

 

Final Judgment, Twelfth Circuit Court of the State of Florida, June 29, 1998 (Judge Robert B. Bennet rules in favor of Windom and Hartenstine of Sarasota, FL)

 

Opinion of Attorney General, State of Maryland, No. 86-021, April 2, 1986 (Potential liability.)

 

Opinion of Thomas R. Powell, Senior Assistant City Attorney, The City of Wichita, KS April 1, 1986 (Potential liability.)

 

Other:

Housing Discrimination Complaint, filed by Calvin Hummer, President, Meadow Walk Town Home Association, Houston TX, May 28, 1997

 

“The Other Pine Intersections,” Ronald Bowman, 1996 (Graph showing increase in accidents at intersections with traffic circles on Pine St., Boulder CO.)

 

Program Application for CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) funds from City of Portland, July 1994. (City agrees to remove temporary measures if CMAQ determines emissions are not lowered by project.)

 

Video:

“Traffic Calming Devices,” 1996, Portland Bureau of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, 55 SW Ash St., Portland, OR 97204

Permits? Really?

By Jonathan McGowan

Springtime is just around the corner. If you are trying to get things done around the home or yard with repairs, renovations or new additions, and questioning whether a building permit is required can be problematic.  

Homeowners making improvements to current dwellings should be aware of the permit process and when a building or trade permit may be necessary.  A good rule of thumb is when you are altering and or changing the existing structure, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing systems, you will probably need a permit. It is advised you check the Anne Arundel County (AACO) web site for permit requirements for specific tasks. The major issue here is safety, for the current and maybe future residents.  The function of the AACO -Permit Center is to process the permits and inspect all building, grading and infrastructure projects to ensure compliance with building codes, laws, regulations and to protect public health and safety.  There are also environmental factors to be considered.

The county web site is easy to follow and states the required information needed for different permits. Log onto   www.aacounty.org and click “Inspections and Permits.” then select under the heading In the Spotlight, “Do I need a permit?”  Scroll down through the different permit tasks and understand what fits your current project.  Processing a permit can be completed on line; again check the web site for instructions.

To save a trip to the Permit Center located on 2664 Riva Road in Annapolis, call (410-222-7720) and speak with the permit advisor about your potential project. This allows you to establish a checklist of any and all materials necessary for applying for a permit application.  Also, plan ahead because certain permits may require a longer review period by the county.  Once again, call and ask the questions about timing, materials, applications, permit fees, and the payment methods.  Be sure to have the property information, tax account number, property address, and land plat if available.  This is mainly used for exterior work and building additions.  Having a description of your project and plans detailing the work is helpful in expediting the permit.  Photographs can be helpful to the reviewer for a better understanding of the scope of work and the necessary permits and inspections for your project. Plan ahead. The springtime can get busy for the Permit Center; therefore, processing building permits can get backed up. 

This website https://sdat.dat.maryland.gov/realproperty.com will help with the property tax account number and other property references needed for the permit application. Enter the county (Anne Arundel), and then select the type of search- the address of the property will work. Go to next screen and follow the prompts to find your property information. Print a copy and use this as reference in filling out the permit application.

Here are a few common improvements to the dwellings that do not require permits; replacing light fixture in kind, window replacement (note-if the window and frame size are not altered), exterior siding replacement, wood deck board replacement for the same shape and material (note-railings, steps and framing would require a permit), roof shingle replacement (note- if the roof decking or roof framing needs replacement then a permit is required), and landscaping which includes hardscaping pavers, plantings, and tree trimming.

Contact your local authority to find out if you need an alarm permit. There are Self-installed alarm systems on market for security and fire.

If the alarm is not permitted properly, failure to do so can result in no police or fire response.  Check with the your alarm company for further information.

 

Current home owners and future home purchasers should be aware. Outstanding building or trade permits can cause problems. First, the county permit and inspection office maintain electronic records of work that is permitted on your property. If for example you had heating or gas line work to your furnace and the contractor obtained a building or trade permit, the contractor is responsible for having the work completed and inspected by the county. Once completed and approved by the inspector, this permit is then required to be “closed out” by the contractor and inspection office.  If the permit is not closed properly, it can stay on file for years as an inactive or delinquent permit.  This can cause problems for the home owner and or prospective purchaser at settlement time.  Closing the permit would require opening an expired permit and having the inspector visit the property.

You can check this permit history as it relates to your property on this county website, www.aacounty.org. Click ‘Inspections and Permits’, on the right side, select “view inspection results/history” and enter your street name letter and follow the prompts.  

Property owners that live close to waterways and tributaries that feed into the Chesapeake Bay need to be aware of restrictive environmental codes.  Anne Arundel County closely supervises the “Critical Areas” around these waterways. Numerous County agencies are watchful in monitoring and protecting the land use and runoff from neighboring properties to our waterways.  If your property is within the “Critical Area”, the permit process will require additional time for the review for home owners planning exterior additions and improvements to their property. The county will flag these properties and will require additional engineering and environmental agency reviews.

Home repair may require the need to hire professionals, such as contractors, electricians, plumbers, engineers and architects.  Do your homework and check out the references for individuals or companies planning to do work on your property. Use Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, and other trades to research the contractor.

There are too many stories of poor construction practices that can cause the homeowner problems for years. There is no reason to take the risks when hiring unqualified contractors. Some homeowners will pull their own permits so that they can hire low ball priced contractors who cannot or will not pull the permit for one reason or another.

Here is a list of reasons given:

1.            To save money

2.            Is not licensed.

3.            Is uninsured, not carrying workmen’s compensation.

4.            Is working for cash without a contract to avoid paying taxes.

5.            Hires help and pays them under the table avoiding workmen’s compensation, unemployment insurance, social security and other employment taxes.

6.            Owes taxes. 

Be safe and be informed.

LSIA has contacted the Anne Arundel-Permit Center and is planning a speaker to come to our monthly general meeting early in 2018. Check out the LSIA website Calendar for future speakers and to learn more about your neighborhood and area services.

11/29 Community Forum Notes/Stats/Letter from Schuh

This forum was scheduled and held by Councilman Smith at the urging of concerned residents in Ferndale.  This WAS NOT an LSIA Meeting, however we did send a representative to follow the proceedings and take notes. These notes are not intended to be any sort of official minutes or record of the meeting but were taken for some level of reference.  Please forgive any inaccuracies as the room was very loud and there was much being said.

 NOTES FROM MEETING HELD BY COUNCILMAN SMITH November 30, 2017

7:09PM – 9:41PM EDT

Councilman Smith opened the meeting at 7:09PM. The subject of the meeting was community updates to Linthicum and Ferndale from the September 2017 meeting in Ferndale.

Councilman Smith reported that there are 12 or 13 topics that will be discussed. Discussion will be had on each topic for about ten (10) minutes. There is a different slide for each topic.

Councilman Smith reported that Delegate Mark Chang, Delegate Pam Beidle, Pat Daly (for County Executive Steve Schuh) and Delegate Ted Sophocleus were all in attendance. The CSL Plasma center leadership was invited but did not attend the meeting.

1.           Follow-Up Assignment Updates

During the last meeting in Ferndale, an issue was raised with regard to the lack of authority to arrest trespassers without certain requirements. There needs to be posted signage and the trespasser needs to be duly notified in advance. Once the trespasser is on notice (i.e. the person needs to receive a

warning), the police can then arrest the person for trespassing.

Police have a system of recording past warning about trespassing, including other calls and events. Councilman Smith wants to increase the number of police officers in the County from 600/700 to 1200/1300 in Anne Arundel County.

Delegate Beidle will investigate the no trespassing sign issue and who is responsible (County or State) and try to create a solution.

Councilman Smith and police officers then reviewed the Linthicum crime statistic data from January 1,

2016 to November 25, 2017. The data and statistics are available on the County’s website.

2.           Linthicum/Ferndale Community Updates

A police officer reported that the biggest problem that we have in Linthicum is theft from cars. This is because we have a quiet neighborhood and our residents have a lot of good things to take. We have a target rich environment.

The North District police cover Glen Burnie, Linthicum and other areas.

The number of officers allocated to each district is by geography and not by population.

Pat Daly reported that County Executive Schuh is concerned that there are not enough police on the street. County Executive Schuh sent a letter to MDOT Secretary Rahn, stating that the light rail station needs to be shut down. The County Executive believes that the light rail is brining crime to the community.

3.           Cromwell Station

Leadership from Broad Street Development was invited but did not show up at the meeting. The company is trying to get another grocery store in the shopping center.

The rumor that a methadone clinic will be placed at Cromwell Field is false.

Light Rail

Councilman Smith explained that Governor Hogan is the only person who has the ability to close the light rail.

An officer from MTA reported that MTA officers check tickets and conduct sweeps at the stations. This was disputed by a number of residents.

A representative from MTA stated that the light rail system is in line with every other light rail system of its kind.

It is MTA’s policy that if light rail riders are caught evading fare, they have the opportunity to purchase a ticket before receiving a citation.

4.           CSL Plasma Center

Ms. German reported that attended a meeting held by CSL Plasma and the only people who attended the meeting with her was someone from LSIA and someone from Ferndale.

Ms. German reported that Heim Enterprises (owners of the Plasma Center) thought that the location of the business was the “perfect match…because of the proximity to the light rail and Baltimore City.”

Ms. German was able to get copies of the CSL Plasma Bylaws. The bylaws state that plasma donors are asked for ID the first time they give plasma and then the donors provide a fingerprint. Donors are required to go to a plasma center in their own jurisdiction. Ms. German believes that donors should be turned away if they are not in their own jurisdiction. CSL Plasma used to pay people in cash but recently switched to a Visa gift card. Ms. German believes that homelessness and loss of businesses in Ferndale are both the result of the light rail and CSL Plasma.

Councilman Smith explained that in order for public nuisance laws to be used to deal with unsavory businesses, there needs to first be a crime committed.

5.           Suboxone Clinic

Councilman Smith reported that County Inspections and Permits has put the clinic into surveillance. Surveillance has shown that the clinic has been closed during the day. There was a report that someone went there in the evening. All of the politicians in attendance at the meeting are unified on this issue.

There have been reports that 4 or 5 people have gone to the suboxone clinic after hours. The investigation will be wrapped up shortly. Outpatient medical clinics are not permitted in this location.

Delegate Chang reported that he was able to remove a facility that was involved in human trafficking. Delegate Chang reported that he has already put in a bill that bans human trafficking for the upcoming session.

6.           Maryland House Detox

A resident requested legislation that would ban inpatient clinics like Maryland House Detox. Councilman Smith stated that he would look into it.

There is a state emergency for opioid addiction. The former location was a hospice facility so the activity at that facility was patient-centered care. People have always been transported at this location. People will not be released from the facility without transportation because of the liability. If someone forcibly walks out of the facility, they can leave in theory. A resident pointed out that Lindale Middle School is right across the street.

Cindy Curtis explained that she is a co-founder of Maryland House Detox. She is a nurse and a mother. If a patient wants to leave, the patient cannot go through the door without them being aware. The doors will open for egress in the event of an emergency. There are security systems. The nature of recovery is that when patients come in for detox, the patients want to get help. In her experience, only 1 of 5,000 people who seek detox treatment leave the facility early.

Councilman Smith explained that the area where the detox center is located can be rezoned but retroactive effect would not apply retroactively to Maryland House Detox.

Maryland House Detox came to Councilman Smith and later to the community association because the leadership wanted to be transparent.

The primary source of patients for Maryland House Detox is from private insurance. Two beds of sixteen are reserved for indigent patients.

Ms. Curtis reported that people do walk out of long term treatment but they do not walk out of detox. Suzzie Schuyler explained that people from Maryland House Detox came to the LSIA meetings and spoke to the general membership and explained what their plans were a number of times in the past year.

 

Carol Boyer is the community relations director for Maryland House Detox. The facility is the first standalone inpatient detox center in the state of Maryland. This facility is the first that has been approved in 15 years. There is a statewide and countrywide opioid crisis. Northern Anne Arundel County has the highest overdose rate in the County.

 

When you leave Maryland House Detox, you go to the next level of care. Maryland House Detox will follow their patients for up to a year after they leave.

Maryland House Detox also detoxes for alcohol, not just opioids.

Mike Wooden pulled campaign finance reports and reported that the CEO of Maryland House Detox made 4 donations that he is aware of. One donation was to someone in Baltimore City for $120. One donation was to Governor Hogan for $1200. One donations was to Mark Chang for $1,000 and one donation was to Pete Smith for $1,000.

Councilman Smith stated that $1,000 donation will not move the needle on his decision making ability. Delegate Chang pointed out that he is opposed to Maryland House Detox in the present location so that the suggestion that he took a donation to support Maryland House Detox does not make sense.

7.           Homelessness

8.           School Issues – Students

Councilman Smith reported that there is a concern that students from other areas are coming into our districts. Councilman Smith referred questions to the Superintendent and School Board members.

The speaker for the schools stated that our school district is not a feeder school. The only students that go to our schools from other areas are for the following reasons: (1) homelessness; (2) tuition payments; or (3) the district is not aware that the student lives outside of the district.

 

9.           MAGLEV

All of the representatives in attendance at the meeting oppose the MAGLEV.

Delegate Pam Beidle reported that she is still working on bringing a MAGLEV meeting with the governmental entities to Linthicum. She added that residents should let Governor Hogan know that they oppose MAGLEV.

 

10.        Hyperloop

 

All of the representatives in attendance at the meeting are aligned in their opposition to hyperloop should the plans negatively impact the community.

Councilman Smith will set up another meeting like this one in a few months. Councilman Grasso has legislation dealing with school overcrowding.

The meeting was adjourned by Councilman Smith at around 9:41PM

 

Crime Statistics

 

    

 

 

crime2.jpg
crime3.jpg
crime4.jpg
schuhletter.jpg
    

 

 

North County Update 12/1/17

News Updates

BWI Noise Update

-The office of the Attorney General has selected outside counsel to pursue action against the FAA’s NexGen program.  Kaplan, Kirsch & Rockwell, LLP will be assisting the AG’s office.

-Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have both publicly supported the pursuit of legal action against the FAA over the impact of NexGen.

-The FAA is currently conducting a Performance Based Navigation project to address community concerns around BWI as well as other airports in the United States.

-The FAA will meet again with the Airport Noise Committee for the Greater Severna Park Council in February with additional suggestions on solving the noise issues that NexGen has brought to Anne Arundel County

-Residents can continue to file complaints on the Maryland Aviation Administration website at:

http://www.maacommunityrelations.com

There is a tab for noise complaints.  

Upcoming GDP Meetings

The county is hosting a series of listening sessions to help shape the General Development Plan for 2040.  There was one held at North County High in September with additional dates to follow. The final one will be held at Brooklyn Park Middle School in February.

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

The GDP is Anne Arundel County’s comprehensive plan to guide land use in the County, capitalize on its assets and conserve critical resources. It is prepared in compliance with State requirements and guidelines. Adopted by the County Council, the GDP establishes policies and recommendations to guide land use decisions over a 20 year planning timeframe. All master plans and development regulations adopted by the County must be consistent with the goals, policies and recommendations of the GDP.

Not My Child

There will be a "Not My Child" event regarding substance misuse in our community on January 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Severna Park High School, 60 Robinson Road, Severna Park, 21146. Please come out and increase your awareness of this fatal epidemic - it affects all communities.

Are you concerned that your child might be experiencing with drugs or addicted to drugs? Do you want to be prepared to teach your younger children never to start using? Are you looking for help with treatment?

"Not My Child" is a special presentation to remove the stigma of heroin addiction and get help for families caught in the web of drugs. This presentation will include a panel of experts, question and answer from the audience and treatment providers ready to provide information and referral.

SCMAGLEV

LSIA is continuing to monitor the progress of the study phase of the SCMAGLEV project.  We will continue to post updates as the information becomes public.  We encourage those opposed to continue to write to our elected state officials regarding this project.  Voices are being heard.

Suboxone Clinic

Phaeton Health Group is still being investigated regarding the licensure and location of the clinic.  At this time we have no further information.

 

Dale Townsend

Our friend and fellow board member, Dale Townsend will be leaving the LSIA Board of Directors at the end of December.  Dale has been a fixture in the Linthicum community since the 1950’s and has been an active member of LSIA, the Boy Scouts of America, and the BWI Pathfinders.  Dale has helped numerous travelers through BWI, and his helpful smile have made him the perfect ambassador to an airport that often serves as Linthicum’s front porch.  Dale was Linthicum’s first honorary mayor in 2004 and we know that he will continue to represent Linthicum proudly in whatever he chooses to do next. Thank You, Dale!