2014-08-29 / Front Page

Residents seek to oust town planner

Dissatisfaction with comprehensive plan is key issue
By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

ARUNDEL — About a dozen residents called for the resignation of town planner Tad Redway at a forum held Aug. 25.

Also during the meeting, the Board of Selectmen voted to keep the mil rate the same for the 2014-2015 fiscal year at $14.50.

In what became an informal, emotional expression of anger toward Redway for performing what the residents said was an unsatisfactory job, residents argued that Redway’s planning was getting in the way of commercial development due to proposed regulations that were too confining.

Specifically, residents said they were frustrated about a particular aspect of the town’s comprehensive plan. Chairman Dan Dubois allowed the public comment portion of the forum to continue for more than an hour.

Committees and administration in Arundel have been working for more than two years to adjust the town’s comprehensive plan.

Town committees have been reconfiguring the comprehensive plan since The Chesapeake Group completed its market and branding study earlier this year. The study concluded the town should utilize its agrarian roots and image as a tool to attract businesses,

A revised comprehensive plan was drafted and proposed to townspeople soon after TCG presented its findings. The intention was to establish several new districts as an incentive for commercial development from out-oftown businesses.

Some residents opposed the proposed Town House Corner district, which would stretch from Log Cabin Road to Sinnott Road or John Cluff Lane.

The proposed area would be reserved for “small-scale retail, office, service and community uses, as well as multifamily dwellings,” according to the proposed Comprehensive Plan. Several businesses within the area do not comply with the proposed regulations.

The comprehensive plan has not been approved by the Planning Board and is still being revised by the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

At Monday’s meeting, Jenn Burrows, owner of Winks, told the board that she and other residents had “asked if we could have Town House Corner be its own separate warrant item.”

Said Linda Zuke, who criticized the prolonged process, “We keep going back and forth, back and forth. This going back and forth has got to stop and we need to move forward.”

Conversation quickly became replete with emotion and blame, all aimed at Redway.

“Tad is slowing down growth,” said Bob Zuke, owner of Robert Zuke Builders on Log Cabin Road. “What do we have to do to go forward with terminating Tad? We need to get rid of Tad, start over and do it the right way,” Zuke said.

Burrows asked to go on record with her request for Redway’s resignation. “He is creating nothing but chaos. He’s done nothing but hinder the process. I feel he’s put a lot of people through a lot of unnecessary money,” Burrows said in reference to Redway’s salary. It was suggested that the town move to hire Redway on a part-time basis.

Dubois said the board would take the public’s comments into consideration.

Once the crowd cleared, Town Manager Todd Shea recommended that the board vote to keep the mil rate the same with an overlay of nearly $9,000.

The recommendation from Shea came with the understanding that the town “added considerable land valuation” last year,” Shea said.

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