Hamilton Royal Farms opponents turn to crowdfunding
They lost at City Hall, but the opponents of a proposed Royal Farms store in Hamilton are planning to appeal, and using an online fundraising strategy to build up a legal warchest.
The gas station and convenience store project (proposed in Northeast Baltimore at the corner of Harford Road and Glenmont Avenue) won conditional use approval last month from the Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals (BMZA).
But residents who attended that meeting and spoke out passionately against the proposal say they will now take their case to Baltimore City Circuit Court.
They argue that the project – planned with 12 gas pumps, 50 parking spaces and to be open 24-hours-a-day – will have significant traffic impacts on the community that will make it illegal.
In rallies and with a petition drive which gathered nearly 500 signatures, opponents have argued over the past year that the Royal Farms would reverse recent efforts to revive the neighborhood with locally-owned shops and family oriented restaurants.
Organizers attribute their BMZA defeat largely to the posture of their City Councilman Robert Curran who, at a raucous community meeting in August, promised to respect community wishes and oppose the Royal Farms project.
Since then, he has openly supported it, citing the company’s willingness to scale back their plans from 14 gas pumps to 12, and from 75 parking spaces to 50.
Their NO RoFo Hamilton website, which has a goal of $2,500, has so far raised $618.