Monday, October 31, 2011

Odenton Development

Recently the proposed rezoning of the Brumwell lot has dominated the local news. Meanwhile, citizens in other parts of the county face similar dilemmas. And while some hope to get a final answer on these proposals in the coming weeks, the residents of Odenton have waited four years to find out whether they will see a mixed use development near the MARC station.

Now, it’s important to note that this project doesn’t involve a zoning fight. Instead, the state of Maryland fought for this transit-oriented development four years ago. In turn, the county agreed, pending completion of a new sewer line. Of course, the taxpayers of Anne Arundel will foot the bill for that aspect of this project. Nonetheless, that’s likely several years away from coming to fruition.

Meanwhile, the Odenton Patch reports that developers, state and local officials now seek $10 million from the federal government to build parking garages near the proposed site. This represents approximately half the amount required to finance the parking facilities. Without the money, the likelihood of the project decreases significantly.

According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, the plan calls for :

One hotel with 90 to 120 rooms,
74,000 square feet of retail space,
572 apartment and condominiums, including 60 units dedicated to affordable housing for seniors,
250 townhouses,
5 single family homes, and
two or more parking garages for MARC Commuters with a total of 3,500 parking spaces and 1,245 additional parking spaces for the development. Total parking on the site will increase from 2,000 spaces to almost 5,000 (4,745) spaces

Keep in mind, the residents of Odenton already have multiple shopping stores and restaurants within their confines. Likewise, visitors don’t need to travel far to have a selection of quality hotels to chose from. Thus, one must question the necessity of such an idea, especially when millions of tax dollars will help finance its existence.

Regardless, Anne Arundel County needs to discourage large scale development. After all, our infrastructure (roads, schools etc.) cannot accommodate these luxuries. As mentioned before, impact fees alone don’t nearly compensate enough for the long term costs and headaches.

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