Rt. 32/Triadelphia Road Bridge:  Senator Gail Bates led a community meeting with State Highway (SHA) to discuss the second phase of Rt. 32 expansion and the associated closure of the Triadelphia Road bridge.  As I’ve stated previously, the early stage plan that some were starting to use as a political issue was only preliminary SHA engineering that was being fine-tuned by SHA and contractors bidding the project.  SHA presented an alternative at the community meeting that involves replacing the bridge in 2 stages leaving one lane open to westbound traffic throughout the potentially year-long process.  Unfortunately, the eastbound detour will be via Rosemary Lane to Triadelphia Road which we know will be an inconvenience for residents, farmers and buses.  It will also take its toll on the businesses around the Glenelg circle.  While not a perfect solution, I appreciate Senator Bates’ leadership and SHA’s efforts.  Now it’s up to the contractors bidding the project to offer additional solutions.  These links provide a visual overview of the project in 4 segments: Linden Church to North of Dayton ShopDayton Shop to North of PfefferkornPfefferkorn to Fox ChaseFox Chase to Rt. 70.  Bids will be completed in Fall 2018, with construction starting in 2019 and completion in 2022.

ZRA 183 – Composting and Natural Wood Waste:  ZRA 183 has moved onto the County Council as CB-21.  The Bill was presented in early August along with public testimony and a work session occurred on April 23.  I am happy to report that, thanks to lots of work by reasonable people behind the scenes, County Executive Kittleman has submitted amendments to address a few key community concerns.  Both of my primary objections to this bill are addressed in the amendment.  While I publicly support allowing farmers to much and compost on their properties, I wanted to see a limit on commercial sales to discourage full scale processing as a primary business and and tighter limits on the acreage of compost operations.  If you’re still new to this issue, you can get lots of background and analysis in this Technical Staff Report and Text of ZRA.  The very last page provides a useful summary chart comparing existing law, the original bill CB-60 that was filed last spring and ZRA-183 the Planning Board is recommending.  The amendments are not yet available for public review because they will not be officially filed until the first Council hearing in May.

Bethany Glen:  Hearings on this large development project adjacent to Valley Mede in Ellicott City will continue on May 16 at 6 PM.

Erickson Senior Living:  Planning Board hearings have begun on this 60-acre continuing care retirement community proposed for Clarksville.  In addition to the size of the project, significant road improvements planned by the developer and conversion of the development tier, a threshold issue is extension of public water and sewer to the site.  I generally oppose extension of the “public service area” because the lack of public water/sewer is a key component of limiting development in the rural west.  However, the PSA surrounds this property on three sides so it’s not a true extension making this a difficult issue for policy makers.  The Technical Staff Report provides a good overview of this project.