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Developer Joins Community in Fighting Freight Project in Elkridge

Oxford Square developer puts opposition to Hanover/Race Road intermodal site on record.

A major developer told the Elkridge community Tuesday he is against an industrial train-truck transfer station being considered for the area and he and his lawyers are “looking forward to the fight” against the state and CSX.

David Scheffenacker, the developer of , was applauded by residents at the Dec. 6 Greater Elkridge Community Association (GECA) meeting behind the intermodal project.

“We are against the freight yard,” Scheffenacker told the audience, “because of our investment in the property down there.”

Transportation officials are exploring the possibility of building an intermodal facility—a depot where trains and trucks can swap freight—at , one of which is on Hanover and Race Roads, less than two miles from Oxford Square.

"We're developing, and we have a vested interest," said Scheffenacker. "When this thing finally goes in, we're going to have residences down there, we're going to have people working down there, and so I'm fighting..."

GECA has been railing against the proposal of putting the freight yard, which would attract hundreds of trucks each day, 365 days a year, near neighborhoods. Residents have said it would , compromise their health and jeopardize their .

According to project sponsors Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and CSX, there is not a hard deadline for selecting a site but it could occur by the end of 2012.  to update citizens on at the four candidate sites.

At the Dec. 6 GECA meeting, Elkridge residents presented a slide show contesting the information that transportation officials presented.

Among other developments that emerged at the meeting: 

  • County Executive Ken Ulman is pressing MDOT for more information about the project.
  • State and county legislators are investigating the economic implications of building a freight facility in Howard County.
  • Scheffenacker said that he would like to share his legal counsel with GECA.

Previously, residents . "We'd been fighting him for years," said GECA president Howard Johnson, in an interview after the Dec. 6 meeting. 

Johnson said that Scheffenacker approached GECA a few months ago to discuss working together in opposition to the Hanover and Race Road site.

"After talking to your [GECA] committee for the intermodal, we have hired four attorneys to fight this," said Scheffenacker at the Dec. 6 meeting, "and we’ve decided it would be good if our attorneys were your attorneys, too."

GECA planned to meet with MDOT on Dec. 7 to discuss the intermodal project status and what its members say are inconsistencies in data presented to the public at workshops in November.

"We’re looking forward to the fight," said Scheffenacker.

Kim Dixon December 08, 2011 at 11:40 AM
I still don't understand why the environmental issue has not been brought up. With a state park directly across the street I know there will be run off of toxins. If the residents and county are so worried about schools and open space then why not take that land at race and Hanover and put the schools there? What's more important to the county schools or the intermodel.
Tammy B. December 08, 2011 at 02:02 PM
I can't imagine how much traffic this facility would add to our surrounding highways. Has anyone seen the traffic on 100 lately, imagine how much traffic we will be sitting in when the casino opens and now they want to add this facility. I oppose the facility due to the impact on the environment, the traffic congestion, safety on the roads and the noise it would produce. I agree that the land there should be where the schools are built, instead of on Ducketts Lane, which is absolutely ridiculous. We already sit in traffic on Ducketts every morning, it's horrible to get out of our neighborhood and once out onto Route 1, its like a race track, not to mention how many horrible, some fatal accidents that have occurred there. The developer of the Intermodal and the County probably work hand in hand for their best interest and it's screw the residents. Ulman and other public representatives better be listening...Elkridge residents vote, it's just a quick tap of the screen!
Matt December 08, 2011 at 02:25 PM
I believe that some of that land is in a flood plain. While I see your point on not wanting the intermodal there, I surely wouldn't want to see a school there under water....
Jeff Pfeffer December 08, 2011 at 02:38 PM
I personnally live within the 1200 foot direct impact area, All of these comments are completely correct. The state and Martin O'Mally are only thinking about the jobs that they can bring to the area. i applaud Jobs, but hte other sites do not have any of the issues that Hanover has, houses, state parks, traffic congestion, both on the highway and the local roads, which by the way will NOT handle the increase in traffic, I do not care what the yelected officails tell you , the roads will be conpletely clogged, not just for me but any body traveling trough the area. I 95 and I295 and route 100 will be griddlocked. This rail yard should be placed eles where, for ALL central maryland people.
Jim Russ December 08, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Beltsville seems most logical they are considering, location is already primarily industrial, borders FDA (govt property) and rails parallel to rte 1.. Seems better situated to workforce & rails stops already in place as well as better access to multiple nearby intersections with the ICC, 495, & 95 for traffic growth considerations.. As for congestion and ever increasing gridlock at 100 and area surrounding, that's a different question, ask your governor and local officials why the tax already being taken from fuel is not making it to the roads for growth and maintenance.. sore subject !
Bernie Trenary December 08, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Don't know where YOU'VE been, Kim, but no stone has been left unturned! EVERYTHING'S been brought up, to deaf ears no doubt, but NOW maybe with "a little help from our friends" (with their OWN vested interest!), those agencies will take note!
Bernie Trenary December 08, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Despite the flooding of Race Rd. during moderate to heavy rains, Matt, the property, for the most part, is NOT in a federally designated flood plain! In other words, hydrologic and hydraulic studies, as well as historic records, indicate the property can be built on WITHOUT federal approval NOR requiring federal flood insurance. We, however, know the true extent of flooding in that area!
Ginny Stickles December 08, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Clogged roads is an understatement! There are mornings that it takes me 20 minutes to drive to work and it is only 4.2 miles. I take Route 1 to Meadowridge. It is already out of control and won't be getting any better.
Paul D December 08, 2011 at 08:18 PM
May not do any good but from what I know about this situation it looks like Elkridge/Hanover residents should get behind and work with Scheffenacker to do all we can to stop the CSX freight yard from becoming a reality in our area.
Richard Nordeck December 08, 2011 at 09:05 PM
Ken Ulman is not going to oppose the Boy Govenor . . . just like the school on Ducketts Lane (where I live) - it's a "done deal". Scheffenacker & GECA working together ??? - politics makes strange bedfellows!!
Adam R December 10, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Are CSX and MDOT going to allow work 24hours a day unloading/loading the inter-modal facility where ever it is built? As a followup are they going to hide the lights and block some noise around the facility???

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