In its continuing battle against the influx of fast-food restaurants into Prince George's County, the County Council last week directed the county attorney to seek an injunction to prevent the construction of a Roy Rogers restaurant in Riverdale.
The request for the injunction against the Washington on Suburban Sanitary Commission, which is expected to be filed next week, will ask that the WSSC revoke a plumbing permit necessary to begin construction on the proposed restaurant on Kenilworth Avenue.
The WSSC issued the permit in June to the Marriott Corp., owner of the Roy Rogers chain, after the company tried unsuccessfully to obtain permission for the permit from the council. According to Alan Friedman, attorney for Marriott, when the council delayed action on the permit request, he went directly to the WSSC. Marriott needed permit approval by July 1, Friedman said, or the chain would have been ineligible under a new county law to build a fast-food restaurant on the site.
Council approval is required fr all plumbing permits issued by the WSSC for commercial development in the Anacostia Basin, which includes Riverdale. Since the council did not approve the permit, county did not approve the permit, county attorneys said last week, the WSSC could not legally issue the permit.
The WSSC believed otherwise. DUe to recent changes in county law and a relaxation of the sewer moratorium in the county, WSSC officials said they had the right to issue the permit without council authority during a three-week period in which they say no County Council allocation policy existed.
"WSSC created a false gap in our allocation policy that wasn't there," council member Francis Francois said.
Several residents of the area opposed to the restaurant told the council last week that Marriott was taking a "back road into this."
"We have 79 eating places in and around the area now, including two Roy Rogers," said Hilda Etermohe of Riverdale Woods. "Kids have too many places to hang out, and these restaurants provide very few jobs. We have more than our share of noise, pollution and trash. We do not desire another restaurant, do not need one, and if justice prevails, we won't get one."
Friedman said he resented the "back door insinuations. We're very good lawyers and we know what to do. Fastfood is a great buzz word, but there is a big difference between McDonald's and Roy Rogers."