Officials hear about concern near Area B Originally published February 22, 2013
By Pete McCarthy
Residents took their concern over a proposed residential development near Fort Detrick's contaminated Area B to the mayor and aldermen Thursday night with hopes the city will delay the project until proper testing is done on the 90-acre site.
The issue is with the plan to develop 730 houses on Shookstown Road.
"I am not personally even arguing don't build," said Jennifer Peppe Hahn, a Brunswick resident who lived near Fort Detrick for years and was diagnosed with her second form of cancer by the age of 37. "Prospective buyers can make their own decisions."...
What she and others argued is that the federal government should be allowed to complete its testing on the land before any construction begins. The proposed development should be stopped until all work is completed, they said.
"Those are my rights and the rights of every Frederick citizen," Hahn said.
The developer has blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from getting access to the property but was recently ordered to comply. The two sides are said to be working out an arrangement, according to an email from an EPA spokeswoman.
Many of the same residents who spoke Thursday unsuccessfully made their argument less than two weeks ago to the Frederick Planning Commission. The city commission was limited in what it could do, members said, because the developer of the site, known as the Waverley View property, was asking for only a slight change.
"Whatever was approved in 2001 has got to be re-evaluated," Frederick resident George C. Rudy said.
Granted initial approval in 2001, the request earlier this month was to modify only some infrastructure improvements the developer was required to make before beginning construction.
"We need provisions in place that untie the planners' hands," Hahn said. "If so much as one person ends up sick 20 years from now, it's not Fort Detrick that will be sued. It will indeed be the city of Frederick."
The comments made Thursday were during the public portion of the meeting. No action could be immediately taken.
"I would like the legal staff to advise us in the near future with what our options are for the property," Alderwoman Carol Krimm said.
Mayor Randy McClement said he would meet with legal staff to discuss the city's options.
"We'll need time to digest what you've given us," McClement told the group. "We'll see if we can move something forward."
Mayor and Aldermen's meeting. Waverley View Development starts
at 01:10:36. KRF on Waverley View Development starts at 01:31:57 (1 hr, 31 minutes, 57 secs) and
ends at 01:37:28.