By Jeffrey K. Lyles, Gazette, January 20, 2005.
There has been a swift reversal in the proposed correlation of two bills that could have used eminent domain to tear down homes in Cottage City.
According to one bill, which generated considerable concern by city officials and residents, these homes could have been replaced by businesses.
Del. Justin Ross (D-Dist. 22) of Greenbelt proposed bill PG 31605 that would have given the redevelopment authority the same power as the Baltimore City Economic Development Corp. and the National Capital Revitalization in Washington D.C., in dealing with blight, underutilized, and underdeveloped areas.
In withdrawing the measure Tuesday, Ross told The Gazette that while he still believed it was important, the county's priorities are elsewhere and he would devote his energies towards them, including more funding for schools and providing more county police officers.
Cottage City Chairman Commissioner Edward Hudgins said he and other town officials suspected the bill was introduced to assume control of 38th Street and Bladensburg Road.
The eminent domain power would have only been used on a case-by-case basis when approved by the County Council, Ross said.