Ramona Street extension draws protest

Several residents of Ramona expressed their concerns to the Ramona Community Planning Group (RCPG) over the proposed extension of Ramona Street.

“We’ve been told that the extension of Ramona Street would be of insignificant impact,” said Carmen La Belle during the Dec. 5 meeting of the planning group. “I’m here to tell you that we are significantly impacted and the only thing that is insignificant seems to be the residents.”

La Belle, who lives just north of the proposed extension, stated that with the current plan her home would be 12 feet from the road and have a 12-foot wall erected in her backyard.

“If this plan goes through, I will have to drive backwards into my garage, since there will be no room to turn around,” she said.

Affected homeowners also voiced objections at the November planning group meeting, when Ed Zielanski of the Capital Improvements Projects section of the county Department of Public Works presented a status report to the planners. The planning group in July 2005 submitted the project to extend Ramona Street from Boundary Avenue to Warnock Drive as a priority project and it is No. 6 on the top 10 road projects for Ramona.

“There is a reason why this section of road was left unimproved,” said RCPG member Carolyn Dorroh. “A 36-inch diameter aqueduct and its breather are still in that easement today and presents challenges to the project.”

On Dec. 2, Dorroh, along with several homeowners from the area, presented their concerns to Supervisor Dianne Jacob. According to Dorroh, Jacob agreed that there were several flaws in the plan.

“She (Jacob) stated that the proposal did not meet county road standards for pipelines, intersections, setback clearances or driveway locations,” said Dorroh.

In a motion to the RCPG, Dorroh asked that the issue be taken off the RCPG top 10 list and the budgeted funds be spent on different improvements to Ramona.

Dorroh stated that during the meeting with Jacob, the supervisor said that the plan has been designed poorly and the county has not budgeted enough money to handle the challenges for the project.

“Right now, with the economic crisis, the county is not anxious to dig into money pots to support this project,” Dorroh said. “The county is actually looking for places to cut funding.”

Aspects of the project are being investigated by members of Jacob’s staff and county engineers.

“I would be willing to wait and hear what the county has to say,” said RCPG Chair Helene Radzik. “If we learn that the project would require too much money, then great, let’s move on to the next project.”

Residents of the area were given time to address the RCPG.

“I asked Mr. Zielanski what his plan B for this property was,” said Warnock Road resident Donna Meyers. “He said there was no plan B. I don’t know if Supervisor Jacob has made a decision, but at least we found someone who was willing to listen to the residents of the last agricultural preserve in Ramona.”

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