A recent meeting between Sixth District County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins and executives at Harford Road auto dealership MileOne could lead to a quality of life improvement for residents of nearby East Avenue.
Residents on the Carney street nearest the dealership have long complained of bright security lights, loud security speakers, disruptive test drives through the neighborhood and a host of other issues. Now, according to a statement from councilwoman Bevins, some of those issues should be put to rest.
In a statement, Bevins said that over the past several months her office had received a number of complaints about the dealership from nearby residents.
"I contacted the owner of the dealerships to alert him of the many complaints I have received and the reports that MileOne has been a notoriously 'bad neighbor.' During the meeting, I made it very clear that, in my opinion, the success of these businesses should not come at the expense of the adjacent neighborhood," Bevins said in the statement.
As a result, she said, several policy changes are being enacted at the dealership which includes Heritage Honda, Heritage Volkwagen, and Heritage Chrysler Jeep Dodge.
Those changes include creating an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that neighbors can use to facilitate communication with the business.
A full list of the issues and their solutions can be found in a document attached to this article.
The decision to be a better neighbor comes as the automotive group hopes to see a zoning change from residential to business major on a .072 acre lot between the dealerships and the residents of East Avenue that they hope to use as part of the business.
A hearing on zoning issue 6-017, requested by the business, will be held at at 6 p.m. June 21 as part of the County's Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP).
The Carney Improvement Association, which represents the neighborhood, and the residents of East Avenue have been in opposition to the zoning change—improvement association president Meg O'Hare said that hasn't changed.
"We are very grateful to Councilwoman Cathy Bevins for taking time to meet with MileOne Executive Fader and let him know that his companies in Carney have greatly decreased the quality of life for the residents of East Avenue who were there first," O'Hare wrote in an email to community members.
However, she wrote: "The issue of being a good neighbor does not mean that the CZMP request by Auto Propeties (Mile One) Issue 6-017 should be granted. Mile One knew that the land was zoned residential when they purchased the property. This land although not designated as open land has always served as a buffer for East Avenue residents. Mile One should not be allowed to use this land for commercial enterprise in consideration of the adjoining neighbors which is why the land had residential zoning to begin with."
O'Hare encouraged community members to attend the meeting at speak out against the zoning change.