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MileOne Enacts Good Neighbor Policies for East Avenue Residents

Residents of Carney's East Avenue have had issues with the auto dealership for years; a recent meeting between county councilwoman Cathy Bevins and MileOne CEO Steven Fader led to some progress in the uneasy relationship.

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 (eastavenueissues@mileone.com) 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.

Chelle Martz June 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
What exactly is it that you all want them to do? I stand up for local businesses because in this economy, people need jobs and communities need money and Mile One brings in a huge amount for this neighborhood. I'm not trying to be mean or unsympathetic - trust me, I am and I understand the frustration and in a perfect world we'd all have peace and quiet but this isn't a perfect world and even if Mile One pulled out tomorrow you'd be faced with something else landing in it's place. Hell, I'd be more concerned with all the carbon monoxide you're breathing in from the exhaust fumes on 695. I do have an idea: how about proposing that Mile One go to a Walkie-Talkie system rather than the intercom system? They use the intercoms (as all dealerships do) to communicate with their lot attendants. That could easily be rectified by going to a talkie-system. As for the lights --- It's an unfortunate necessity. With the thousands of dollars they have on their property they cannot afford to not have the security lights. My house has flood lights front, back and center because I've been broken into twice in the last two years. My neighbors behind me have the same thing - I shut my blinds and it doesn't bother me. I'd rather have safety than not. .
JGH June 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM
I believe that you are misunderstanding one of my issues with MileOne. I have no problem with their use of the intercom system during working hours, it makes sense and does not bother me. At night time, MileOne changed from the use of patrolling security guards to a remote monitor system back in 2010. They use remote video surveillance to monitor the parking lots, and when a trespasser is detected, they use the intercom system to notify the trespasser (quite loudly) that they have been seen and are asked to leave. During the past several months, most likely to augment their security cameras, MileOne has upgraded the light output of their overnight lights to a brightness that is intense (we do close our blinds/drapes, it is still not enough). I appreciate that they have a lot of product to protect, and respect their right to do so, I simply ask that they make sure that their overnight lights and speaker volume falls under state and local ordinances.
JGH June 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM
You ask what do I want MileOne to do. My response is quite simple, I ask that they make sure that their business practices act in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, ordinances and zoning requirements. I ask that they take into consideration the community surrounding them when making decisions, but respect their decisions when they are made in occurrence with the law but against the desires of my community. For me to ask anything else of them would be unreasonable. I do not have any strong desire to see MileOne go away (I will note that I have purchased 2 vehicles from them in my attempt to be a good neighbor), I simply would like to see them to continue the current dialog that Councilwoman Bevins has graciously set up. I would like to see this dialog continue beyond the current re-zoning cycle, which is where in 2004 and 2008 the previous two attempts broke down and failed once MileOne's re-zoning request was denied.
Margaret June 18, 2012 at 09:33 AM
I like your ideas JGH and Chelle,
Ruth Baisden August 29, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Tonight Councilwoman Bevins voted for zoning that would allow the car dealership to expand down East Avenue. The property is now BM (buisness major) 0.56 acres and DR5.5 (residential) 0.17 acres. Honda Mile one will have the right to park cars, build a service area orany thing else under the BM zoning. i am very disapointed. Also councilman Marks voted to allow the CVS at the corner of Joppa and Harford Roads, Both approved by the entire council and final! thet think you won't remember on election day 2014.

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