Port Towns concrete plant has new hearing date, Aug. 22 -- Details

Port Towns residents in Prince George's County and their organizations have been fighting a proposed industrial use, a concrete batching plant in Bladensburg, at the county level. Here are details on the proposal and its drawbacks and how to support local control of development at the Aug. 22 hearing.

PORT TOWNS ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION    /United for a Safe, Healthy, and Fair Community

Contact: Denise Hamler 240-476-4349

 Port Towns Environmental Action Coalition Wins Continuance in Zoning Hearing for the proposed Concrete Batching Plant in Bladensburg

 Bladensburg, MD – The Port Towns Environmental Action coalition and persons opposed to the Special Exception/Variance SE-4792 for construction of a new concrete batching plant in Bladensburg will appear in front of Joyce B. Nichols, the Zoning Hearing Examiner on August 22, 2017 at 9 am.

 At the first hearing on August 2, a three week delay was granted on the grounds that PTEA’s attorney was unable to attend the hearing.

 PTEA spokesperson Denise Hamler, responded, “We came to the August 2 hearing expecting to address our due process concerns about the lack of public notice but were not afforded the chance to do so. Nevertheless, we are very pleased, that we will have three weeks before the case is heard on August 22.”

 According to PTEA, several requests for a continuance were sent in advance of the hearing to the Zoning Hearing Examiner and she waited till the August 2 hearing to rule on the delay. A July 31, 2017 letter was sent to her by the PTEA attorney David Blitzer citing a number of problems with the public notice process and requesting a postponement.  The property where the new plant is proposed is owned by  Ernest Maier and located at 4700 Annapolis Road in Bladensburg, Maryland across from the historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park and steps from downtown Bladensburg.

 Numerous letters were also sent to the Hearing Examiners office by citizens and elected officials who raised issues about problems with not receiving notice as persons of record on the Special Exception case which is a requirement by county code. The examiner did not consider those issues in granting the delay.

 “It is very important that community and business members who live, work, visit or, worship in the Port Towns area and Bladensburg attend the August 22, 2017 hearing to voice their concerns about the addition of a concrete batching plant in the center of the town”, Hamler continued, “We are hearing many issues about how this proposed plant will exacerbate the current issues of storm water run-off, air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, concrete/cement trucks, and pedestrian safety at the site of the existing concrete block plant owned  by Ernest Maier. The health and safety of our community, residents, workers and tourists are our number one concern as we look at the possibility of another concrete plant being built across from the Bladensburg Waterfront Park in the heart of the Port Towns area.”

 Interested persons are encouraged to attend August 22, 2017 hearing at 9am at the County Administration building, 14741 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive, - 2nd floor - Upper Marlboro, MD 20710.


  Information on the proposed Concrete Batching Plant at the site of the Ernest Maier Concrete Block facility: https://www.facebook.com/Port-Town-Environmental-Action-1851603078460419/

 For more on the Ernest Maier Application for a Special Exception case SE-4792 & two variances to build a concrete batching plant in Bladensburg, Maryland that is before the Prince George’s County Zoning Hearing Examiner on August 22, 2017 hearing and Prince George’s Planning Commission Public Hearing on September 28, 2017: http://www.mncppcapps.org/planning/Person_of_Record/


 Port Towns Environmental Action (PTEA) is a coalition fostering environmental and social justice in the Port Town’s communities of Prince George’s County while promoting local sustainable practices that create equitable, healthy and safe communities.

 

 BACKGROUND: Concrete Batching Plant at 4700 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, Maryland:

 A concrete batching plant that makes concrete in the center of Bladensburg will adversely affect the health and safety of the community – residents, workers, waterways, and adjacent property owners.

 This area has been identified in the {Approved} Port Towns Sector Plan as an arts, entertainment, and recreational area and this concrete batching plant is not a compatible use and will not foster proposed development in line with the plan. The area is in the new EcoDistrict area designated by Prince George’s County and Gateway Arts District.

 The area is located in close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Overlay Zone and is close to the Anacostia River. Moss Run, a tributary runs adjacent to this property and the Anacostia River. There are issues of storm water management/flooding in the area of the facility.

 In 2011, Prince George’s County Council determined that health impact assessments are important tools to identify health impacts of proposed developments on the community. If the Planning Board finds that a proposed use “is potentially incompatible with land uses on surrounding properties,” it may require a detailed Site plan (27-281(a)(1)(1) and this triggers a health impact assessment by the Prince George’s County Health Department (27-284(a)(2).

 The area is located in the heart of the Port Towns historic area and is designated as such and was the site of the Battle of Bladensburg in the War of 1812. Former Governor O’Malley designated the area as an important preservation region and several historic properties are on the Historic Registry.

 The proposed plant is only 40 feet from the Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church. The church was built in 1818 and is an historic site known as the St. Paul’s Baptist Church (69-005-06) and the only remaining site of the historic African American community in Bladensburg.