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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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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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