Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It’s baaaaaaaack…

Comp Lite – and its associated lawsuit -- is in the news again today. The latest development in the ongoing battle over the junior rezoning process is a motion filed by the county asking to have the case thrown out of court. From the Sun:

In a formal response, the county claims the residents lack legal standing and waited too long to contest the legislation authorizing the Comp Lite process.

The latter point invokes not the doctrine of statute of limitations but of "laches," which states that a legal right or claim will not be allowed if a deliberate and long delay in asserting that claim has adversely harmed the defendant.

Such delays may be regarded as a "legal ambush," according to the legal Web site law.com.
The County Council passed legislation authorizing Comp Lite on May 3, 2004, but the lawsuit challenging that action was not filed until two years later, the county's filing with the court notes.

"By delaying over two years," the filing says, "plaintiffs put in jeopardy ... potentially the county's zoning regulations that affect thousands of property owners."


Having wisely decided against law school, I can’t speak to the legal merits of this argument, but from a practical perspective, the decision delay a court challenge of the legislation in favor of a referendum probably hurt the opponents’ cause. Ultimately, the question of its legal status needs to be answered by a judge, not voters. Regardless of if they voted for it or against it, Comp Lite is what it is, legal or illegal. And we’ll have that answer eventually, likely following at least one appeal.

The Examiner’s story on this case is here.

43 comments:

Tom Berkhouse said...

"Comp Lite is what it is, legal or illegal"???? WTF does that mean? Are you saying that you have no concern about the County officials, especially Ken Ulman, who orchestrated the whole thing, and who you supported during the election, doing something COMPLETELY illegal?

You have really sunk to a new low in hypocrisy and stupidity. Yes - I am name calling. NOBODY should defend such brazen misconduct by any government official, regardless of party affiliation. All of the Council members who voted to allow the illegalities in Comp Lite broke the law as far as I'm concerned. We've hashed the detailed history of it before, and you of course, ducked the whole debate and turned a blind eye on Ken's behavior.

I'm sure he's going to do everything he can to get it dismissed and cover his tracks being the disreputable person that he is.

621

Anonymous said...

Tom! You are muting sensible responses in opposition to Hayduke's post with your bulldog partisanship and over-the-top language.

(in addition to discrediting yourself)

wordbones said...

Tom, Tom, Tom,

You really need to ease up buddy. Just because you believe that Comp Lite was illegal doesn't make it so.

That is what the courts are for. We are a nation of laws or do you think your own personal views trump those?

Personally I am of the opinion that comp Lite was perfectly legal and I fully empathize with those property owners who have been held up by these challenges. At the same time I am willing to let the process play itself out.

The best part is that if my view prevails in the courts, David Keelan will owe me a Guiness.

Tom Berkhouse said...

Anon and Wordbones,

YOU are the partisan hack $@$($*#$ that are being partisan. Get your candidate elected, then cover his tracks and make excuses, and turn a blind eye all while hypocritically smearing the other candidate. The Courts wrongly dismissed the referendum case based on ridiculous technicalities. So you want me and the opposition to "trust" that the courts are going to do the correct thing. How truly naive you are. Judges have their biases and political inclinations so they are hardly neutral voices.

Neither of you, nor Hayduke, nor Ulman himself, have ever offered a rational justification for how you think Comp Lite is legal. I, and the other opponents, however, have offered plenty of solid proof (go read the Charter for crying out loud - if you can) demonstrating that Comp Lite was illegal. The facts are their - you just choose to hypocritically ignore them.

If Ken Ulman had any integrity, which I doubt, instead of undoing the senior tax legislation, he would propose a law to undo the illegal portions of Comp Lite. If he was serious about creating an open and legitimate zoning process, he would correct what he did wrong. I won't hold my breath though.

If you thin I'm over the top now, you've got a long 4 years ahead of you.

I love how Hayduke never responds, it only vindicates my position. If he is right about his positions, let him speak up like a man and defend himself. Since the facts don't back up his side of this issue, hiding his head in the sand I guess makes him feel better about his own partisan hypocrisy.

621

Anonymous said...

Tom, perhaps you should consider enrolling in an anger management course. I sincerely hope that your anonymity on the net is the only reason you behave in this manner. You sound like a conspiracist and a bit of a reactionary. You cause would be better served with rational and balanced posts.

Anonymous said...

To Tom from the first anon:

I think comp lite was illegal. But the strong language and leaping into name calling precludes people like me from taking opposition to the issue without teaming up with you, which I wouldn't do.

I also think that telling someone to take anger mangement classes only incites more anger. If people really want to help and not insult, then a nose-to-nose talk (post) would do more than claiming to know what therapy is needed.

Anonymous said...

Wordbones:

The courts are not there to primarily make new law. They are supposed to uphold the law by meting out justice. (though only a courtroom-vigin would claim this is what happens).

Because a judge says comp lite is legal doesn't make it actually legal. A judge can say anything, and the less powerful have an even slimmer chance of having these powerful people decide in their favor. Also, human beings err. Judges are human beings.

Laws are made by legislatures, and shouldn't be left open to far-reaching interpretations by judges who are mostly allowed to say anything at all, regardless of how closely it resembles law.

A judge saying something is illegal doesn't make it more illegal.

Hayduke said...

Tom,

Get a hold of yourself. Seriously.

Your comments are damaging your cause and whatever standing you may have left on this blog.

Your writing is consistently filled with hate, anger and vitriol, yet you wonder why I haven't seen the (Comp) Lite, why your "factual" statments are often overlooked by me and others, or why I choose not to engage you.

Go back and read the post again. Read my archives. Show me where I have spoken out in favor or against Comp Lite. The closest I've come to expressing an opinion on the legislation was a statement I made about how I thought Merdon's vote against it was motivated by political gain. For the most part, my coverage of the issue has focused on the tactics used by COPE in trying to have it overturned, and this stems largely from my somewhat academic interest in community organizing.

Frankly, I couldn't care less about Comp Lite. What's more, my opinions on it don't matter and, at this point, neither do yours. Only the opinion of a circuit court judge matters now. And if you can't make peace with this fact, then you can't make peace with the philosophical and practical foundations of our society (and you'll continue to find yourself marginalized).

Hayduke said...

Upon further thought, saying "I couldn't care less about Comp Lite" is probably an overstatement, and there's no need for those. Let's just say it's not one of my "most important" issues.

Tom Berkhouse said...

I really couldn't care if people think I'm angry. Everyone should be angry when the government behaves this way (the way that Ulman does). Injustice should matter to everyone. What is most upsetting is that, when the facts are presented to people like Hayduke, he twists it around, and will take issue with one fact and then proclaim the whole argument to be false or partisan.

Hayduke, you have a lot of nerve playing the self righteous, superior than me role. You know, people like Jeffrey Dahmer, were calm, collected, well-educated people, but I would hardly say that that makes him a better analyst of what is right or wrong. NO- I'm not saying you're like Jeffrey Dahmer. Although given your penchant for misconstruing things, you'll probably take it that way.

Hayduke said...

Tom, again, examples; show me where I've twisted the facts regarding Comp Lite.

And, please, if you don't wish to at least associate me with a homicidal maniac, why bother mentioning him in the first place?

You know, Hitler was a vegetarian, too.

However, I agree that being calm does not make one right by default, but it doesn't turn people away, either (see Anon-12:07).

Centennial Resident said...

I obviously haven't been paying attention over the last eight years. I voted for Robey the first time because I listened to both and didn't like the Republican. That was the last time I was following County issues. Please explain or point to the where I can learn about Comp Light.

David W. Keelan said...

Centennial,

Here is why I think comp-lite is illegal. I have written a lot about comp-lite on my blog. You can catch up there.

http://hocomd.wordpress.com/2006/09/15/is-comp-lite-even-legal/

Tom Berkhouse said...

Hayduke,

You simply REFUSED to look into this issue, the BIGGEST issue to come along in years, as far as zoning is concerned, and you ignored it. WHY? David laid out the entire explanation (very thorough and FACTUAL), yet you have stayed mum on it. WHY? Yet, all during the election cycle you tried to smear Chris as the violator of the process, the guy in bed with developers. WHY? For someone as capable as you are of researching the topic there's no excuse for turning a blind eye to it.

And, you once again selectively pulled out just part of what I said to distort the meaning. I said that you twist it around and take issue with one fact and then.... If anyone has lost their standing related to this blog, it's YOU.

As I have said many times during the campaign, and it's the main reason why I have branded you a hypocrite, I have no problem with you making LEGITIMATE criticisms of any candidate, as long as you apply the SAME standard to ALL candidates. You gave Ulman a free pass on several things. If you don't like my label for you, then get back to your "epiphany" and stop being a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

"I really couldn't care if people think I'm angry. Everyone should be angry when the government behaves this way (the way that Ulman does). Injustice should matter to everyone. "


tom:

how angry are you about jose padilla? how about the sex trade and sweat shops in the Northern Marianas Islands (a US territory)?

get some perspective.

locke said...

Thanks for the spirited discussion though think everyone needs to keep their emotions in check.

new to the area and attempting to get caught up to speed. the various blogs on the issue are great.. however.... one property seems to be a lightening rod for the entire process… why is the Bethel Church such a passionate issue for the residents in the area? I honestly have a tough time lumping a church in with developers and fighting against the expansion of a church on church property. There are probably bigger battles to fight but there may be more to it then what is obvious from the outside. Please shed some light on this issue….

Anonymous said...

I hope it's not the church it self, but upset that a former plan/zone attorney can leave govt job, enter the pvt sector, and get special favors. Check Sang Oh's role in comp lite.

locke said...

i'll do some digging.. thanks..

Separate from the shadiness described above… is the community who lives around the church, against the expansion? What are the issues? Architectural appearance, noise, traffic, ?? It has been my experience that churches make good neighbors….

Anonymous said...

Tom--What did Ulman do to you? Did he kick your puppy or something?

wordbones said...

Anon 8:28,

That was very funny.

-wb

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28, wordbonehead,

that was not funny. why would you want to taunt someone who is already upset? grow up.

Tom Berkhouse said...

That's ok. You can mock me if you want wordbones and Anon 8:28. It shows your level of immaturity.

LOCKE: the real issue with the church is not church or its congregants. It's the traffic, and the new zoning category that was given to the church. Chruches are not the Sunday only activity spot they used to be. Churches are busy just about every day and every night, with various organizations meeting there and so on. It has nothing at all to do with this Church being Korean, although that race card has been thrown around by those people defendering the County officials who approved the rezoning. There are many cases of proposed church expansions being opposed by neighborhood residents, again, not because they are anti-chruch, but because of the impacts that such expansions can have (most notable traffic). St. John's Lane is one lane each way, and already VERY congested, with speeders, etc.

The Church was also allowed into the whole rezoning process AFTER the deadline for applications to be accepted. And, the zoning district approved (Planned Office Research) eliminates the requirement for any future public hearings or meetings for future expansions. That zoning district is NOT menat for churches, and doesn't mesh with the residential zones in place along St. John's Lane. Hence, the lawsuits and allegations of impropriety and illegality.

locke said...

Tom,

Thank you for the explanation.

The entire issue of the comp-lite rezoning being legal/illegal is a matter that shall and needs to be resolved in the legal system. Not being completely up to speed on the technicalities of the issue, I'll defer judgment.

What is important is that everyone stay civil and although people can have different view points, can agree to disagree.

I do not agree with the rational behind not letting the church expand. Places of worship are positive forces in the community. I would bet the majority of events held in the church are non-religious in nature and a benefit to the community. Boy scout meetings, girl-scout meetings, weddings, reading clubs, tutoring, etc are all activities that are held in these facilities and I would bet that this church is not an exception. Being new to the area, I have already seen for myself the lack of public spaces available to the community at large. It would be a great thing if the community and the church worked together to build a facility that benefited everyone. With the amount of land on the church property, ball fields, soccer fields, and a public park would be great additions and would benefit both the local neighborhood and the church.

One of the main benefits of churches is the activities they provide for our young people. I believe that a little traffic one day a week is not too high a price for keeping youth engaged in positive activities and not causing trouble on the streets.

One concern that I've read on more than one blog is that this is an issue because this is a Korean Church. I don't think this is an issue for most people, however, if this was in a predominately Korean neighborhood, the expansion of the church would not be an issue. Also, please note, the congregation of the church is not entirely Korean. It has a growing diverse congretation with people of many races and backgrounds. I am not a member of the church, but have attended on a few occasions. This is how I first came to know this issue. I am not Korean.

Has anyone at the church sat down with the local community and attempted to work out a compromise? I'm sure that people of good faith can come to a resolution that everyone can accept.

locke said...

Another thought.. TRAFFIC... when I got married at a church far, far away, a long, long time ago.. the church had an agreement with the local neighborhood... any time they had an event with over a set number of people, the church had to have a local police officer at the church exit watching traffic and helping things move smoothly. the church had an aggreement with the local police deparment and paid for the service.... i'm sure this was a compromise agreement with the community...

**thanks for suffering through the long dialog/responses.. i must learn to keep my notes brief..

wordbones said...

Anon 2:35

Lighten up.

TB is always so full of vitriol that has actually become comical.

-wb

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Thanks for cooling your jets about CompLite long enough to list its issues for those of us not up to speed. I would be none too happy either if I had a similar project near me handled in that manner.

locke,

As was stated earlier in this discussion, most churches are no longer used just one day a week. Yes, they do provide multiple benefits to their communities. Yet, imagine the nearby neighbors having increased nightly traffic and traffic noise, and many car door-closing thuds. It's not like the folks moved in next to Notre Dame. Notre Dame moved in next to them and now has POR zoning, giving it much more of a green light for future expansion. What zoning did it have before POR?

Other similarly beneficial facilities in the County have also had dissenting opinions expressed, not due to zoning hoopla, too, but just because of the concern of their traffic impact on adjacent communities. One example is Blandair Park and the increased traffic it will bring to adjacent neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

wbone:

When TB goes off like he did, that's not a license for others to wack out. Maybe you're the driver on the highway who rides beside the slow driver to block all speeders from breaking the law. Same effect, short term results and longer term encourages repeat of the undesired behavior.

Some readers might like to see how TB really is, rather than have him muted.

Tom Berkhouse said...

One of the interesting things about the responses directed at me by wordbones and hayduke is that they never really try to counter the evidence/facts/opinions that I present. They only offer junior high school insults.

Wordbones - there is nothing comical about corruption by government officials. I thought you were of the mind that government should be held to a high standard of accountability, from both parties, since you so often to proclaim to not be beholden to Dems or Reps. As for Hayduke - I really get the impressions, based on his actions, statements, or lack of a position depending on the issue, that he only derides poor behavior when Reps. are the guilty party. I have always stated that if a Rep was behind the Comp Lite fiasco I would be equally outraged, a statement which had no value as far as Hayduke was concerned. In fact, Feaga voted for it, and I think he was mistaken to do so. However, since he is part of the minority party on the council, I lay less blame at his feet than at the feet of the majority party (Robey, Ulman, Guzzone). Ball was not on the Council at the time, so he's off the hook as far as Comp Lite goes.

I aslo have indicated that I would swear out an affidavit if I had to, to validate statements that I have made about things that I know. Again, Hayduke dismisses such offerings as worthless gestures. Why not take actino against the officials if I'm so sure. Well, we all know it's very hard to fight "city hall". Government officials have more resources available to cover up and defend themselves than citizens have to successfully challenge improper or illegal behavior. Just look at how the referendum was tossed (by a democratically appointed judge - who is probably friends with Robey or Ulman or whoever). It was examined for merits, just technicalities.

Anon is write Locke, it's not that churches are bad, but more consideration should be given to the homeowners who were there first. In fact, one of the legal criteria that must be met to receive rezoning approval is that there must not be negative impact on adjoining/vicinal properties. In this case, that criteria FAILS - yet another reason for the opposition to it.

locke said...

>>criteria that must be met to receive rezoning approval is that there must not be negative impact on adjoining/vicinal properties.

If that was in fact the case, did the groups protest all of the developments along route 40 and the rest of Howard County? This property is within ½ mile of one of Howard County’s major retail/commercial arteries. We all live in a county that is quickly developing and changing. Each and every major development in the county has an affect on the remainder of the properties in the area and county. I guarantee that if this church decided to pick up and move to another location, developers would be fighting over this property and we would end up with something much less palpable then a church. There is a serious lack of low income housing in Howard County. Would you rather have 1,000-1,500 condos or 300 townhouses on this property?? In fact, this would probably be in the county’s best interest. How many Howard County police officers live in Carroll County because they can't afford a house in Howard County? All of the residential properties in Howard County and those around this church have greatly increased in valves over the past 5 years. Please do not use the argument of declining home values due to this church. A 250% increase without the church or a 248% increase with the church is still a huge return on investment.

Let’s agree to disagree on this issue. This is a church and only a church, one of many on this street.

Thank you for your dialog and viewports.

Anonymous said...

250% vs 248% appreciation is only meaningful when it comes time to sell. What about all the people that just want to continue living in their homes, in their neighborhood?

Church.
Megachurch.

You make a good point that it is within a 1/2 mile of Route 40. Yet, it's that 1/2 mile distance from Route 40 that makes the difference. It's back in a residential neighborhood, accessible only by a one-lane each way road. Were it directly on Route 40, I doubt you'd hear a peep about a church this size.

The other churches you refer to on that street are closer to major roads:
- St. Johns (actually on 144, not St. Johns Lane, and considerably predating any residences along its shorter and less residential route to Route 40)
- the LDS church at the south end of St. Johns Lane, about a 1/2 block from the 103/29 interchange.

Both of those churches also appear to have more moderate sized congregations, based on their parking capacities.

And the hypothetical about if developers had that land they'd build 1000-1500 condos or 300 townhouses isn't plausible. APFO, due to insufficient street capacity and/or insufficient school capacity, would preclude either of those options.

Again, don't get me wrong, churches bring many benefits to our community, but they should be sized to fit within the community, too. Many megachurches do take that into consideration and do locate on major roads, thereby avoiding negatively impacting neighborhoods.

Hayduke said...

Tom,
You're right about me not responding to the facts you've presented. Part of the reason is, honestly, because I have trouble reading all of what you post. When your facts are interlaced with attacks directed at me, it’s hard to look past the personal.

More significantly, I don’t write about the Comp Lite details because, well…

The closest I've come to expressing an opinion on the legislation was a statement I made about how I thought Merdon's vote against it was motivated by political gain. For the most part, my coverage of the issue has focused on the tactics used by COPE in trying to have it overturned, and this stems largely from my somewhat academic interest in community organizing.

I don't mean for this to sound bitchy, but it's my blog and I write about what I want, a category that doesn't include Comp Lite. Maybe I'm being negligent, but that's not for me or you alone to say.

I try to keep emotion out of this, but you consistently mischaracterize what I say and spew mean conjecture. For instance, though I can't say for sure, if it were a Republican majority that passed Comp Lite I probably would care just as little. I just don't think it's as important as affordable housing, Town Center or environmental concerns. This has nothing to do with facts. It's about priorities, and Comp Lite isn't one of mine. Maybe if I had more time I'd complete your research requests, but it's hard enough to squeeze in an hour's worth of writing a day as it is. Now, if everyone wants to chip in and pay me to write full time...

Also, show me where I've directed junior high insults at you. And, for that matter, where I've dismissed your offer to swear in an affidavit.

Regardless, it's clear that all of us, to some degree, suffer from a selective hearing problem.

Tom Berkhouse said...

Fair enough. I can accept if it just isn't as big of a priority for you as it is for me, although since it is such a big deal to so many people, I would have thought it would automatically register on your radar as an important current event (which is what all of the blogs are supposedly covering?).


LOCKE - I was not speaking as I was using those arguments against the church. I was explaining the arguments being used by the opponents who spearheaded the referendum drive and the current lawsuit.

The current zoning, by the way, I believe is R-20, which would allow up to 2 houses per acres, before factoring in roads, environmental areas, etc. I'm SURE that the opponents would much rather have 20-30 sfd houses than a megachurch.

wordbones said...

Anon 9:43,

I don't wish to mute TB, quite the contrary. One of the reasons I particpate in these bogs is that I enjoy debate.

What I'd like to see is reasoned debate. While TB often brings up valid points he often negates them by his vitriol and baseless accussations.

I take very seriously any charges of public corruption. I was one of the first guys around to have an Impeach Nixon bumper sticker on my car.

TB has accused Ken Ulman, Guy Guzzone and Jim Robey of corruption without offering any solid evidence. He insinuates that they are all paid off by the development community.

I take exception to that for two resaons. First and foremost I know all three of these men personally. I believe them to be honest and dedicated public servants. Secondly, I am developer, though a minor one. I possess first hand knowledge of the development process in the county. If there is corruption I certainly have never witnessed it.

As regards to Comp Lite, TB and others continually claim it be illegal. To date, no court, nor the county office of law has agreed with them. Just because the opponents to Comp Lite have not prevailed, does not make Comp Lite illegal. If TB strongly believes it is illegal he should fight city hall. That is both his right and responsibility and it is much more effective than breathing fire in Haydukes blog.

After all, if a President of the United States can be removed for illegal activity, certainly a County Executive or County Councilperson can.

-wb

locke said...

wordbones: i couldn't agree with your statements more...re comp-lite. If it is indeed illegal..the courts will say it is so.. so far, they have not.

Anonymous: the only thing in life that is constant is change. I've read stories from the archives of the original land owners and farmers of Howard County fighting the development of Columbia. Where their concerns any less of value than yours… no. If the neighborhood changes, some residents may leave, but there will be 6 waiting to take their places. There is such a lack of housing in Howard County; the land values will not be affected. Re Traffic: St. Johns is indeed a two-lane road; however, I disagree with your assessment on Traffic. There are plenty of other two-lane roads in the area with more traffic. The additional vehicular load can be managed. I have to admit that I am accustomed to higher density residential areas so my viewport is based on my experiences thus far.

Anonymous said...

"If the neighborhood changes, some residents may leave, but there will be 6 waiting to take their places."

Are you rationalizing that it's ok to have projects significantly negatively impact adjacent properties, beyond even APFO traffic limits, as long as someone else is ready to come along and buy the land the impacted neighbors vacate? So much for property rights. Progress, if you want to call it that, trumps all?

With that point of view, you're pretty much negating any predictability in property ownership and any value in having a zoning system to provide such predictability. Zoning accounts for change, allowing it to be dealt with predictably.

"St. Johns is indeed a two-lane road; however, I disagree with your assessment on Traffic. There are plenty of other two-lane roads in the area with more traffic."

Disagree all you want. APFO traffic requirements are what they are. Check them out for yourself. 1500 condos couldn't fly there on two-lane St. Johns Lane.

locke said...

Anonymous: Let's just agree to disagree. The courts will work out the issue regardless.

Everyone: thank you for the frank and enlightening discussion. No need to beat the issue to death more then it already has been.

Anonymous said...

1. Zoning laws change as the community requirements change.

2. Please provide the definition of a "mega-church".

Anonymous said...

There were two properties involved in Comp-Lite that would have adversely affected the adjacent community. The battle was long and hard and the residents in that community were justifiably fearful that what they had come to know as their surrounding community would be forever and adversely changed. The citizens prevailed in these two particular cases and the community was saved. Or... maybe not. In the following year 65% of the homes along the two streets closest to the properties seeking rezoning, changed hands. (Compare this to a 7% rate over the previous two years). There were more people waiting to purchase these homes. None are abandoned or boarded up the community continues to exist to fight another day, but the cost of losing our friends and neighbors, our children's playmates, our fiddler and our florist our babysitters and our first chair trombone player and our second baseman.. these were signifcant changes to the social fabric of our community. The ripples of greedy, speculators are still lapping at our shores, years after the battle was 'won'.

Don't forget that what to you is a collection of residential units is 'home' to others. And, perhaps most sadly, the older, more modest communities- our humble but hallowed neighborhoods- are often the biggest targets because the land and the housing is least expensive. These treasured neighborhoods where generations of families still have 4th of July Crab feasts and Christmas luminary displays... and which are often our best examples of economically and socially integrated communities... these communities are our most endangered, non-renewable resource.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate, however, communities and neighborhoods change. some for the better, some not. just because the character of the neighborhood or the people are living in it are different, does not make it any less of a community. change can be and typically is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

"Change is good" is the creed of the developers.

Signficant, dramatic change does lessen a community. The community might recover, but the recovery is measured in years and the burden is carried by the current residents.

Older communities suffer more. Elders and the aged do not adapt to change as quickly as the young. Losing a support network built up over the years in a sudden way is difficult. Maintaining consistency and predictability in such neighborhoods allows our seniors to remain independent a little longer. It is easy for the young to toss off empty assurances about change, they have not yet come to truly rely on community- but only upon themselves.

Anonymous said...

"It is easy for the young to toss off empty assurances about change, they have not yet come to truly rely on community- but only upon themselves."

That is a true point...I'm in my early 30's and have been moving every 2-4 years as jobs/career advances so it is good to see the topic from the other side.. However, in the end, disagree with the opposition to this church for some of the reasons stated above by others. If it were a shopping plaza, office building, jail, factory, etc going/expanding on this site.. I'd be very supportive of this cause.

Eldersburg1976 said...

What is the current status of the expansion project and comp-lite as a whole?

locke said...

I spent some time researching this issue this week. I drove up and down St. Johns Lane multiple times during morning and evening rush hours and before and after Bethel Church’s largest service. The traffic on St. Johns is much worse during rush hour.

I also walked around the church’s property and was amazed by the size of their lot. Don’t know the exact acreage but they have at least 30+ acres.

As long as the proposed addition has the appropriate landscape buffers, adequate on-site parking, minimal light/sound pollution… there is no reason that I can see to oppose the expansion. Having not seen the actual expansion plans I can’t confirm that the expansion meets these assumptions. With the size of their property and the current church configuration, I am sure the proposed design does or could easily meet these assumptions.

Is there another reason that this church should not be allowed to expand on their property? So far, it appears the zoning/rezoning of their property has met all legal challenges. Where do the legal challenges of the rezoning/comp-lite now stand?

Is it fair to stop/freeze a building process indefinitely when there doesn’t’ appear to be any legal basis to do so? How many challenges are valid? 2, 4, 10, 15.. where does it stop??