Below is a recap of the discussion before the Harford County Council about James Run, a proposed development south of Bel Air on I-95 at MD Route 543.
10:25 p.m. The public hearing lasted until approximately 9 p.m. and included both supporters and opponents of the project.
8:13 p.m. The chair of the land use subcommittee is testifying on behalf of TIFs (tax-increment financing), the special tax breaks that the developers of the James Run project are seeking. "Our land use subcommittee has studied a number of locations and projects for a university research park," he said, and this could be a good location to serve APG endeavors.
8:05 p.m. Another citizen said she wasn't convinced of the credibility of the developers requesting tax breaks to build James Run, a mixed-use project on I-95 south of Bel Air. A woman from Friends of Harford said there hadn't been a market study presented and that job calculations were based on assumptions. "We really don't know what's going to be here because even the [information in the application] contradicts itself," she said. "The county does not benefit from this project....We have a problem here...The James Run project...wants tens of millions of taxpayer dollars...[that] will help James Run unfairly compete with other local businesses..."
7:50 p.m. A citizen from Fallston testified that she didn't trust the LLCs involved in the James Run project, who have not been named, and wasn't convinced they were clear in their plans. She encouraged the council to vote for "good business." Developer Kevin Carney, who plans to build lodging houses at James Run, said "as a single developer of a 14-acre piece of the whole parcel, [I] could not afford [to build] but my partners and I can afford the special tax, which is estimated to be about one-third of the cost," Carney said. Of James Run, he added: "It will be the crown jewel of Harford County."
7:38 p.m. The council has opened the floor for the public hearing on James Run, a development project on I-95 south of Bel Air. According to the council administrator, 31 people have signed up to testify on the issue of James Run. The first to testify is an executive from the Peterson Companies. "We have a track record in the region of building high-end retail projects," said the representative, citing Peterson's success in Silver Spring and National Harbor.
7:20 p.m. "We've had hours and hours of meetings on the subject," Councilman Chad Shrodes said of James Run. Now the council is going on another hour on the subject, as James Run has been the council's focus for much of its Oct. 16 meeting so far.
6:40 p.m. Dozens of people are wearing "Support James Run" t-shirts in the audience here at Council Chambers (212 S. Bond St.) in Bel Air. The room is packed. James Run is a mixed-use development in the planning phases south of Bel Air, whose developers are asking for specific tax-incremental financing. Opponents are concerned that tax dollars should not go toward financing private development. Read more about the issue on ExploreHarford.com.
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