Royal Farms vote tomorrow: is “no” off the table?
Above: In June, residents gathered to protest a planned gas station and convenience store in Hamilton.
Northeast Baltimore residents opposing a Royal Farms gas station and convenience store on Harford Road are up in arms about the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting of the Glenham-Belhar Community Association.
Circulated via email, the agenda offers three possible votes on the proposal – and none of them are a vote to reject the plan. Here’s how it reads:
-Proposal (5 minutes max)
-Concerns (5 minutes max)
-Vote I: “Accept Gas Station portion of proposal” *2
-Vote 2: ”Accept Commercial building portion of proposal” *2
-Vote 3: “Accept entire Proposal” *2
“When I saw the three positions to vote for and the 5 minutes for the issue, I was disgusted,” project opponent Roopesh Vijayan wrote, in a community email. “These people make me feel ashamed to live in Baltimore.”
The proposal – to put a 5,100-square-foot building with 74 parking spaces and 14 fueling pumps at the corner of Harford Road and Glenmore Avenue – was approved by a 13-11 vote at a meeting of the association earlier this year.
But after residents who said they hadn’t heard of the plan protested and began a petition drive against it, Glenham-Belhar Community Association leaders agreed to hold a re-vote.
Reached by phone this morning, president Joe Oaks declined to say the limited choices on the agenda are a mistake but noted that those who have questions about the way the issue is being handled can come to tomorrow’s meeting and talk about it.
“I can override anything that’s not right,” Oaks said. “We can deviate from that agenda.” Because of the controversy over the proposal, Oaks said he promises open discussion.
“Anything pertaining to Royal Farms . . . I want to make sure everything is out there and nothing is under the rug,” he said.
The meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., is to be held tomorrow (Aug. 1) at Koinonia Baptist Church, 5738 Belair Road.