On Wednesday, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education effectively stymied a proposal to build a garage on Compromise Street.
The board voted 8-0 against reaching a memorandum of understanding with the Annapolis City Council’s effort on the plan, which also includes office and retail space.
Board of Education member Eugene Peterson abstained from the vote because he's employed by the city of Annapolis.
The memorandum of understanding stated that the school board would be willing to cooperatively negotiate with the city on the initiative.
Compromise LLC, a local developer, presented the plan to the City Council. The project called for the garage to be built on top of the Annapolis City Playground, located near Annapolis Elementary School.
"[The garage] can't be built there without an agreement with [the Anne Arundel County Public School System]," wrote Bob Mosier, a spokesman for the school system in an email to Patch. "The playground is city property, but the garage would have been built partially on city property and partially on school system property."
Mosier added that this decision has, from a school system point of view, killed the project.
"It's a damaging blow to the whole process," said Alderman Ross Arnett (D-Ward 8), who is an ardent supporter of the garage.
Chris Stelzig, the Annapolis Elementary PTA president, was pleased with the decision. Stelzig is one of the leaders of a group opposing the proposal. He also started the anti-garage petition.
"I was confident," Stelzig said.
Some board members expressed their concern about how the garage construction would impact a planned $27 million renovation to the historic elementary school.
"I don’t believe the city has done its due diligence," said Teresa Birge, a board member, prior to voting.
Arnett said the property is still in the city's master plan for the city dock's revitalization. But it is still unclear how the council, which passed its own memorandum of understanding with Compromise LLC last Monday, will proceed.
"This puts a huge cramp in the plans," Arnett said.