Poll: What's Your Vision for Race Road?

Tell us what you would put on Race Road near the railroad tracks.

The Greater Elkridge Community Association (GECA) is seeking community input on potential developments along Race Road.

Currently, Laurel Sand and Gravel  at 6330 Race Rd.

At the same time, CSX is considering building a train-truck depot called an "" there.

After a recent meeting on the topic, GECA President Howard Johnson said he'd like more input. 

GECA—which advocates for Hanover, Jessup and Elkridge residents—has hundreds of members who can't always make it to meetings, so the organization is asking for your opinion in our online poll. 

The group's next meeting is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at the

Robyn Winder May 21, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Let's see: what a choice! An asphalt plant or an intermodal facility...why not a chicken processing plant, a paper mill (now THAT smells nice), and a hog farm? Seriously, Howard County officials permitted the area to be abutted by hundreds of homes: Race Road either needs to be rezoned for commercial (like High Tech Drive) or, ideally, gradually become part of Patapsco State Park.
Christine Barton May 21, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I agree that it should be part of the park. There is already a marked bike-route on it. The trains already go through the park, and no one seems to mind.
Dave A. May 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM
A landfill with a large modern incinerator
Annie May 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM
years back we had an Asphalt plant there and it didn't bother me but Robyn's idea of becoming part of the State Park is a very good idea. We've lost so much of our area to Industrial parks.
djp952 May 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Asphalt plant over the Intermodal if those are the choices. Given the poor zoning and lack of infrastructure over there for traffic I would really prefer to see it left open or maybe used for low truck volume warehouses.
djp952 May 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM
(And come on guys don't be sarcastic GECA and Elizabeth are making an effort for us to be able to voice our opinions here - I appreciate it)
David Parkison May 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
To those who would rather have an asphalt plant, WHY??? Do you really think there will be less noise? Less truck traffic? Think about it. The smell of cooking asphalt 24 hrs a day, dump trucks taking a short cut straight thru YOUR neighborhood to get to Rt. 1. The constant noise of the high power burners to make the asphalt. If the CSX intermodel becomes a reality the State Highway dept. and CSX would build the new Hanover Road interchange on I-295 for the truck access along with access to RT. 100 through Coca-cola drive. Not thru your neighborhood. Just my 2 cents.........
Concerned Elkridgean May 22, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Open space or community center. Light Industrial, office buildings
Concerned Elkridgean May 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Community Pool or light retail
Kim Dixon May 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Well I agree, the community need's more open space since the county has allowed over development of the entire area, everyone needs some green space and a park attached to the state park is a charming ideal. I do however believe it would be in everyones best interest if the county stopped being so cheap and make a actual bike path like anrundel county did, Rece road is a road, not a bike path and for the safty of everyone they should build or pave a jogging / bike path.
Charles Menk May 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Ideally I would go with a park / scenic road / bike route options; however it is highly unlikely developers are going to give up their investment in that land so easily. Next would be light commercial/office. Then warehouse. Lastly, Asphalt over Intermodal. There is no comparison between the noise, lights, and trucks between the two. And the new technology for asphalt seems a much better bet in terms of smell than idling train engines!
Rick May 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Small business or leave it open to become part of the Park.
Dan Hammil May 22, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Just to take Kim Dixon's suggestion one step further, a nice way to have open space, jogging, a bike path would be to change the zoning and offer the land to somone like Meadowridge or the like and convert the land into a cemetary. Seriously, it would create a park-like setting for the joggers/bikers and it would be quiet.
Val McGuire May 22, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I agree with Robyn-- a park. Make Race Rd a scenic road and the surrounding land, parkland. If only between the two: CSX or Asphalt, then asphalt with stipulations worked out between the residents. No CSX.
Ruth Reynolds Kohl May 22, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I also like the idea of making it part of the park.
Robyn Winder May 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I think you may have missed the point of my sarcasm--the very idea of putting an intermodal facility or an asphalt plant adjacent to our neighborhood (or ANY neighborhood) is as absurd as the other options I mentioned. None of these things belong near residences. GECA and the Patch have been great advocates for Hanover/Elkridge. The sarcasm is aimed at CSX, MDOT, Konterra, et al.
Dan May 22, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Park for sure. We have enough stuff around here already, we dont need anything else. How about a nice dog park?
Mr. Drew May 23, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Why an asphalt plant is better - It's 10 acres of the 75 acre site. It doesn't operate when it's cold out. It's subject to local zoning, noise, and environmental laws, unlike railroads. That doesn't make it nice.
Mr. Drew May 23, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I think the site should be the home of Elkridge High School. Use the gymnasium and cafeteria to buffer the classrooms from the railroad. Build a bridge over the tracks on Hanover Road so the school buses have safe access. There is lots of room for athletic fields.
Howard Johnson May 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM
This is a very informal survey and we appreciate all the input everyone has presented so far please keep the comments coming. Two of the three options are specific and I many people are aware of the CSX intermodal proposal and what the will bring to the area. 300 to 600 trucks coming from an already stressed Route 100 with one way in and one out until money is put up to support the 295 interchange. Even then we will still have the tall cranes, noise of the freight yard and constant idling of trains and trucks in the area. Also the likley closing of the at grade Hanover Rd crossing.
Howard Johnson May 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM
The second option of the asphalt plant presents a less intrusive option that still includes a max of 100 trucks per day during peak production in the summer months. The plant will not operate in the colder months of the year. The new facility will exceed current federal and state emissions standards and have air and product reclamation (recycling) during the production process. Odors and noise will be from the trucks and equipment moving materials.
Howard Johnson May 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM
The third choice of other.. is wide open and some of the key points presented by others is that the owners of this property will want something in return for their property. If a park is the answer then the count y and state have to come up with the funds to make it worth their while to sell. This is certainly a great option and we should push for this and talk to the owners of this parcel and the other 57 acres to see if they would consider such a move. The other possibility would be to press for light industrial zoning or residential zoning in the upcoming comprehensive rezoning for Howard County. The light industrial zoning would mean flex space or offices, but still more truck traffic. The residential would be high density to make it worthwhile to the land owners. Any zoning change in compressive zoning is not enforced until the property is sold; the current land owner has the current M2 zoning grandfathered in. Laurel Sand and Gravel (Kontarra) can still place the asphalt plant there until they sell.
Jeanne DeBoy May 23, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Extension of the state park or a high school would be good use of the land.
Mike Samsel May 23, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Is the land suitable for a school? That would fulfill a county need and be pleasing to adjacent homeowners.
Michael Zeder May 23, 2012 at 05:59 PM
If my only choice is an Intermodal or an Asphalt plant I would choose the Asphalt plant. There really is no comparison between the two. The Intermodal runs 24 hours a day with all the expected noise and pollution that the facility and 600 to 900 trucks per day can generate, not to mention the lights and giant cranes. The Asphalt plant is at least a mostly daytime operation, 80 to 100 trucks, and is state of the art regarding its emissions. Ideally I would prefer neither option and go with light industrial or commercial. The owners and developers are going to want to get something out of that land. If we could get it rezoned that would be the best option for the homeowners in the area.
Matt Ruzicka May 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM
How about a community pool? If you've got 300 homes within a 1/4 mile, why not something that serves the community? Maybe a nature center that partners with the local schools to promote ecological awareness. I realize that these are not profit makers for cash happy HoCo lawmakers, but it sure would be good PR.
Bob June 01, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Why is this even being debated?. What has happened to the control over development and how can we stop howard county from becoming another overdeveloped eyesore? If anyone has any ideas please let me know. thanks
Tony June 02, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Hanover/East Elkridge is one of the least developed areas for Howard county residents when it comes to recreational areas. Why not build a nice bike/walking path through the area and some basketball/tennis courts. Maybe a few pavilions for get togethers. Race road is dangerous due to the traffic + bikes plus curves and the local residents don't have any where to safely walk or bike to close by. .
Adam R June 03, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Tony great idea, there is one of these sights in the Baltimore County adjacent to the light rail stop, two toilets, tennis, horse pits, etc. Hanover could use one of these real bad. Very reasonable to rent for a private party.
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