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25th Street Station Development Foes Make Case

Two men, who have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping a planned unit development for North Baltimore, filed a brief with the Court of Special Appeals explaining their legal right to do so.

Two North Baltimore residents filed a brief on Monday with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals that explains their right to challenge the planned unit development granted to the proposed 25th Street Station project.

A lawsuit filed by Allen Hicks and Douglas Armstrong was previously dismissed in Baltimore City Circuit Court because a judge ruled the two lacked standing, the legal right to pursue a lawsuit. But the Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to examine that decision in January.

In their brief, Hicks and Armstrong criticized the traffic impact study that supported the project and argued that city taxpayers like them will have to pay the cost of improving roads to mitigate the anticiated increase in traffic, according to a news release.

Hicks, a Hampden resident, and Armstrong, a Remington resident, both unsuccessfully ran for Baltimore City Council seats this year.

The Court of Special Appeals is also scheduled to take up a second, similar lawsuit regarding 25th Street Station. Benn Ray, owner of , is a plaintiff in that lawsuit.

Supporters of the development have been critical of the two lawsuits and blame them in part for some of the recent problems regarding a project that proposes to build 330,000-square-foot of retail development to include Walmart.

"While we continue to work on construction plans, financing, and tenant mix, we cannot purchase the property or start construction while the appeals continue," states the project's website. "We look forward to a decisive resolution of the appeals so we can bring shopping, investment, and jobs to the neighborhood and City as soon as possible."

Last month, big box retailer Lowe’s announced that it was no longer interested in opening a store as part of the development.

“You have to wonder if things could have been different if frivolous lawsuits hadn’t been filed against the project,” Ryan O’Doherty, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, told Patch in October.

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babo November 15, 2011 at 05:10 PM
"“You have to wonder if things could have been different if frivolous lawsuits hadn’t been filed against the project,” Ryan O’Doherty, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, told Patch in October." Riiiigggghhht...how about the Supporter's (of the project) "frivolous" decision to approve the development – after lying about the communities support for it.
ralahinn1 November 15, 2011 at 06:20 PM
I am in the community, and I support it. I do not drive, because I am disabled, and having a shopping center like this in the area would mean so much to me. I like shopping at some of the current local stores, but there are a few that I call over priced boutiques, and some local stores just don't carry things that I might need.
slangwhang November 16, 2011 at 01:29 PM
These people disgust me. Here are a few who trying to decide for the rest of Baltimore, what we need. Did these same people complain when roads and streets are re paved in HAMPDEN? Did they complain when 29 TH and 28 TH streets were both recently re paved. Taxpayer money is used to improve streets around business districts all the time. The judge who hears this snipe should throw these peoples case out. They have already caused enough problems for this development which would served thousands of Baltimore Residents. Instead, they would rather it be empty lots for many years. I guess they would rather this area be vacant lots and havens for potential crime, then a nice shopping area. It dismays me how some people, who call themselves community activist, are really only in it for glory and their opinion and self aggrandizement.
slangwhang November 16, 2011 at 02:07 PM
When it comes down to it. These community activist are not really collectivist. When push comes to shove they show their real colors. Ask the residents of Waverly, the empty lot where the Super Fresh was. Where the Giant was built 9 years ago. Residents will tell you about the vacant lots, chasing prostitutes from Greenmount Avenue who were using the lots for their TRICK LOTS! Ask the drug dealers who dealt drugs from these lots. Will these same people get out and Block Watch on these lots after Anderson Automotive closes for good? Yeah, there will be increased traffic, when Anderson closes. The problem is it won't be legal traffic. Ever hear of cutting off your nose to spite your face?
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Why are the folks who oppose the corruption in our city and it's dirty deals being labeled as foes??? "We" get blamed as voters for continuing to 'elect' city officials who are involved in these dirty deals and yet when folks go the activist and/or legal route to shine a light on the reality of what really happens behind closed doors....the headlines call them 'foes'. Let's see some "investigative reporting" that really shows the public what all the "fuss" is about with regard to who actually benefits here.
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Right on Barb! I posted this same quote questioning HOW and WHY when citizens file legitimate law suits, they're labeled as "frivolous" Look at the headline of this article. They're labeled as "foes" Folks that file these lawsuits deserve to be heard. I don't feel it's so much about the project itself as it is about the PROCESS the city and the developers, etc. take when planning these projects. (In addition to the blatant lies they tell the residents)
lawhoo97 November 16, 2011 at 05:48 PM
frivolous - "of little or no weight, worth, or importance; not worthy of serious notice" I think that actually sums up the lawsuits here. It isn't about traffic or taxes (actually, more business in the City helps the tax base). Rather, it is about someone's own view of what they think the world should look like (Hicks and Armstrong) or that they might be harmed by competition (Atomic Books). Perhaps the suits should be characterized as self-centered - "concerned solely or chiefly with one's own interests, welfare, etc.; engrossed in self; selfish; egotistical." Perhaps the suits
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 06:12 PM
How involved are you with regard to these lawsuits and what the actual issues are? Keeping in mind that Baltimore has quite a consistent history with regard to elected officials, developers, etc. and doing deals behind closed doors, leaving the folks who actually live in these communities, pay taxes, etc. out. Keep in mind as well that there are numerous businessess brought to the city THAT PAY NO TAXES. What are the details of the lawsuit? So far it looks as though opinions and perceptions are being formed with regard to these lawsuits, but I'm hoping that we can actually see/read what the laqsuit actually states. (most of these lawsuits over the years are based on illegal maneuvers and extremely questionable tactics) There's nothing "frivolous" or "not worthy of serious notice", etc when it comes to calling the powers that be to task and holding them accountable. Are you familiar with Baltimore's West Side Story"?
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Ever herad of "Baltimore's West Side Story"?
kris November 16, 2011 at 06:20 PM
I live within a block of the proposed site. I went to presentations early on where we were told that there would be a "grocery store". I was hoping for a trader joe's, a wegmans....something like that. Imagine my surprise upon learning the "grocery store" was going to be Walmart. I felt like I had been a victim of bait and switch. While walmart does sell grocercies, I would never classify them as a "grocery store". Lowe's was about the only good thing about the project in my opinion. Now that's off the table. I do think the traffic studies left a lot to be desired.... someone else mentioned and I feel the same, I don't want another Port Covington situation..YUK
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 06:40 PM
There was an article (online) ....may have been in The Baltimore Business Journal.... where SRB openly stated that she felt the Baltimore Develpment Corporation deceived her with regard to the information the BDC provided her in terms of community support. The article is aprox a year or so old, and though I can't remember exactly which online 'paper' this was, I could probably check my FB/post history. I definitely posted it there. I was shocked to see SRB making that comment, although as history will show, most (if not all) of our previous mayors have spoken out againt the BDC and it's closed door tactics. However, as times goes on, our mayors have a "change of heart" and we then find them publicly and privately supporting the BDC. Ugh.
Dave November 16, 2011 at 07:41 PM
One commenter brought up the idea of a bait and switch. I could not have said it any better. All those detailed plans for what will happen with the site and the only thing we know for sure is that there will not be a Lowes, and there will be a Walmart. Well that's horse crap. I think I read not too long ago that there would be a lot of local, small businesses going into this complex. Really? What are they? And when they go out of business what will be left? Walmart and what? This plan stinks.
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Yes. This is just one small example of what happens when these 'deals' are being worked on and worked out. It's not about the community at all really. Smoke and mirrors. When I hear the same old line of "It will create jobs" (as we are so often told) and then we see that contractors, etc. are from out of state? How does this create jobs for locals? Or "it will create jobs for the community" makes me wonder how the businessess can (legally) only hire local folks? All in all, as history shows.... as long as they keep folks confused, no one really knows what's going on, what the plan is, if the plan has changed, how it's changed, etc. And as long as the local media and the city and the developers only refer to these lawsuits as "frivolous" and how citizens are responsible for stalling these amazing projects, well.... at a certain point, folks stop caring. Folks don't want to hear anything else about those annoying people who are only looking out for themselves and their communities.... It's like a broken record folks. And as long as these lawsuits are ignored, MISREPORTED, not taken seriously, things will continue to be this way. Simple google searches will show that lawsuits have been filed by folks over the years for pretty much the same reasons.
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 08:27 PM
And no. I don't think or feel that it's frivolous at all to question how these deals are really done and why the city, etc. chooses to be so deceitful.
Chef LaSh November 16, 2011 at 09:37 PM
As someone who has lived in Waverly/Charles Village most of my 40 years, I know that a market was sorely needed in the area. The problem with this deal when it happened wasn't so much getting the supermarket, it was how it was done. People were forced out of there homes via eminent domain. Homes that were perfectly sound when purchased were suddenly declared as a blight on the neighborhood. Now do I like having a market within walking distance, yes. What I don't like is being lied to by the people we voted in who are supposed to be protecting our interests but instead are only advancing their own.
AnnKangarouse November 16, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Thank you Chef LaSh. Again.... When we (citizens) are over looked, lied to, manipulated, evicted, and so on... why oh why and how on Earth could this be looked upon as an annoyance when we try to speak up and speak out? And this has happened time and time again, not just to home owners, but business owners as well. Worse yet is the fact that the media simply will NOT report on this. (they too have a vested interest in keeping their investors happy) The link may still be on youtube for "Baltimore's Wes Side Story". Prime example of what happens when "the city" gets involved. It's the opposite of the Midas Touch. Anything the city touches, turns to mold... Again, thank you for getting what I've been trying to talk about for several years now. The process..... I was met with a horrendous amount of cyber bullying and cyber stalking as a result of simply stating fact in terms of "the process". Thanks to all who've taken the time to comment on this article, but in particular, to those who really know what they're talking about based on what they've seen and experienced with thier own eyes and in their own communities...

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