October 1, 2013 12:02 pm ET
A form letter does not cut it. Citizens send request in writing to DOJ seeking an investigation into wrongdoing.
This e-mail was sent to Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger seeking a response to some serious and unanswered questions concerning the VA and the proposed Fort Howard development.
The Congressman’s reply is posted as a PDF file on my website at BuzzBeeler.com for viewing.
Also posted is a copy letter along with another document detailing some of the issues surrounding the actions of all those involved in the Fort Howard development plans and the VA. This cover letter and other documents were submitted by the citizens who are seeking intervention by the Justice Department.
Now what is perplexing is that the Congressman’s office has responded to me before on this issue, so it’s not like they have no clue as to what I am asking about. What is troubling is the response indicates his office either lacks the transparency to respond or is avoiding the question?
The community of the North Point Peninsula has requested, in writing, a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the actions of the VA and developers. The VA is responsible to oversee the entire EUL (Enhanced Use Lease) process. The VA must abide by the laws and procedures that are applicable. If you read the appropriate PDF files, you will see the issues that that are being raised about this entire process.
In addition, I sent the county a PIA seeking documents as to any correspondence about this development. Their response to me said that there has been no contact regarding the Fort Howard LLC. The PIA was sent on September 16, 2013. The county has 30 days in which to reply.
One of the most important issues deals with the zoning of that area which is currently at 550 units and not the projected 1,415. The only way for this zoning issue to be changed is through a PUD.
For some background on this matter, read my previous blogs that detail some of this information. Scroll through the blogs to view various articles on this proposed development.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger
(Note, this e-mail and reply will be on the record)
Dear Congressman Ruppersberger:
One of your constituents contacted me regarding a statement your office made pertaining to the Fort Howard LLC. The constituent advised that your office was fine with the outdated data used to support that development and there was no need to revisit that area again. Are you aware that this violates VA requirements concerning a EUL?
You were also quoted in the Dundalk Eagle that you were satisfied with the progress of the Fort Howard LLC.
Are you aware that a document on the Federal Register reads as follows?
“Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of a Senior Living Retirement and Affordable Housing Community in Fort Howard, MD”
Under that title, as reported in the Register, there is no mention of veterans. It also states that “Fifty units will be set aside to provide transitional housing and supportive services for homeless and at risk veterans.”
That can be hardly considered a project for the veterans considering that development will consist of 1,415 units. (Note, number of units corrected to reflect actual count)
There are many more issues regarding your support of this project that need to be addressed. One of which concerns a witness that came forward who stated that a traffic count on North Point Road was done between the hours of 9 am to 2 pm, which missed both the rush hour traffic patterns. According to the witness, the rush hours occur between 6:30 am and 8 am and again from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Other concerns involve violations of numerous VA requirements, such as any prior EUL terminated by the VA—as in the case of Federal Land Development LLC—requires the new developer to start from the beginning and provide updated data to meet the many requirements of the VA. What about the NEPA regulations and the requirement for the community to be involved in the FONSI (finding of no significant impact) as it relates to the community. Where is the meeting the developers promised the community with their complete report on traffic and other infrastructure issues?
I am seeking a comment on the statement by the constituent who contacted your office regarding the outdated data that was submitted.
Is it true that the Congressman is satisfied with the old data supplied by Federal Development, some of which goes back to 2005?
I await your reply.