Despite vocal opposition at a meeting last week, members of the Ruxton-Riderwood-Lake Roland Area Improvement Association voted against a motion condemning the project.
In a letter to residents, RRLRAIA President Clark Parriott wrote, “By a count of 491 to 298, the membership of the RRLRAIA has voted, in person and through proxy votes, to support the board in its efforts to promote the best interests of the community.”
A show of hands at the meeting indicated that many in attendance intended to vote in favor of the measure to reject the project in its current form. Many more members, however, voted by proxy to oppose the motion, or, as Mr. Parriott put it, to support the board.
Vanguard Retail Property Development purchased the six-acre parcel in March of 2016 for $4.25 million and proposed apartments, restaurants, retail space and parking on the site at Clarkview Road and Falls Road.
In an email, Mark Fetting, who leads the opposition, said he attributed the loss of the proxy vote to a number of factors, most significantly a controversial bylaw amendment that would have required a membership vote on board action related to zoning.
The opposition withdrew the amendment at the meeting.
“We move forward in hopes of working constructively with the RRLRAIA and the developer to get to a better proposal,” he added. “We are particularly gratified for a 15-day extension of the Modification Request agreed upon by RRLRAIA and Vanguard.”
Parriott closed out his letter encouraging resident involvement:
As we have stated previously and at the special meeting, the proposed development project is not at a stage of the development process where formal support or opposition by the association is appropriate, but between now and when that time comes, we will solicit your thoughts and opinions to ensure that your voice is heard through the association. We want to reiterate that there will be more opportunities for the community to provide input through the county’s development process and design review process. In addition, the developer will be required by this process to hold one or more community input meetings (CIMs) regarding the project. We encourage you to get involved.
There are still 10 conflicting votes from members who sent in proxies for both sides. The RRLRAIA will contact those residents by email and record their votes by Friday.