Same Site, Different Proposal
Residents of Upper Marlboro were excited when they successfully fought off a plan to build an Exxon station at the Marlboro Square shopping center two years ago. They said that the town didn't need another gas station and that it would cause traffic congestion in the shopping center on Route 301 and pollute the nearby Western Branch River with harmful hydrocarbons.
So, when residents recently discovered that Kazi Foods Inc., an Annapolis-based developer, was trying to build a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at the same location, they weren't too pleased.
"It lacks all common sense," said John Malloy, an Upper Marlboro lawyer who is poised to challenge the fast-food restaurant.
"During the previous testimony [regarding the gas station] . . . an expert witness testified and was backed up by EPA studies that a fast-food restaurant has more pollution than a gas station," Malloy said.
Andree Green, an attorney for Kazi Food, said concerns are unfounded.
"If you look at the staff report, you will see there are no environmental issues that anyone had concern with," she said. "Several residents previously said they would rather we have a fast-food restaurant."
The county planning board approved the Kazi plan Thursday. Residents have 30 days to lodge an appeal, before the proposal is sent before the County Council and the company can request building permits, according to Laxmi Srinivas, a planner with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Malloy says he will appeal.
"The planning board . . . works in mysterious ways," he said. "The only thing you can do is to state your opposition."
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