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    Residents of northern Wicomico County community ask city council to ban Jeep event

    29 days ago

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3fzHM2_0sWWkflS00

    SALISBURY — Residents of a northern Wicomico County community continue to protest an upcoming Jeep-specific event planned for a nearby county-owned site off Connelly Mill Road in Delmar.

    Shadow Hills resident Michael Goldberg made the latest plea during a presentation at the April 15 Salisbury City Council meeting. Goldberg touched on environmental concerns regarding the Safari at the Quarry event — specifically a potential negative effect on the city’s potable water supply — while also claiming it would violate an existing city zoning ordinance.

    For months, Goldberg and numerous residents of the Shadow Hills subdivision have spoken out against the May event and any future versions, instead requesting Wicomico County to preserve the 234-acre site for public use in the form of a park as they say it was originally intended.

    Goldberg told the city council that the paleochannel, which provides potable water for the city of Salisbury, runs underneath a large portion of the site and has been designated as an area of critical state concern by the Maryland Department of State Planning.

    “That deeply, deeply concerns me,” Councilwoman Angela Blake said.

    City Administrator Andy Kitzrow later countered during the meeting that all of the car lots and gas stations on the north side of the city are on top of the channel.

    “So, let’s be careful before we’re saying that we’re destroying an ancient well and waterway because of a singular event,” Kitzrow said.

    Goldberg told the city council that since the three parcels that compose the property are within the city limits and are zoned residential, the Jeep event would violate city regulations. He urged the council to take a stand and block the event from happening.

    “By doing so, not only will you be upholding the sanctity of the law, but you will also be protecting the paleochannel, the Wicomico River and other natural resources while helping to bring the promise of Connelly Mill Park to fruition, thus ensuring that it is forever protected and available to all residents of Salisbury and surrounding communities, not just to a select few,” Goldberg said.

    Kitzrow said Goldberg was merely presenting information that had not been fact-checked. He noted that neither the county nor the promoter of the event attended the meeting to address the claims and said the city would need to further investigate the issue of whether city zoning codes would allow the event to occur.

    The Safari at the Quarry event, slated to occur May 4-5, is being put on by Ocean City-based Live Wire Media and Events. Owner Brad Hoffman told the county council in December that he has been putting on similar events up and down the East Coast for nearly 35 years without an issue. He said the participating Jeeps are street-legal, insured, tagged and not modified.

    “I’m always a good neighbor. I treat any facility that I deal with like it’s my house with respect,” Hoffman said.

    An online petition on change.org requesting the termination of a lease between the promoter and the County Executive has garnered more than 500 signatures as of April 17.

    During a recent Wicomico County Council meeting, Sheriff Mike Lewis said he was never involved in discussions about the May event but assured nearby residents they would be safe.

    “My opinion was never sought,” Lewis said. “I don’t support it, but I promise you this. There will be additional deputies that are going to be paid to work that day in Shadow Hills to protect your development.”

    Reach Managing Editor Richard Caines at rcaines@iniusa.org.

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