The way Harvey Blonder sees it, his proposal to build a 190-room hotel, restaurants with different themes, a wedding venue and a pool with a swim-up bar would only enhance the area off Route 2 overlooking the South River.

Blonder said the proposal to transform the site of the Liberty Marina would bring new jobs and boost the tax revenue that flows to Anne Arundel County and the state.

Nearby residents, however, aren’t ready to belly up to the swim-up bar yet. Many turned out at a County Council meeting this month to speak out against a comprehensive rezoning bill that they feared would clear a path for the mixed-use project.

County councilmembers stressed that they were not approving a massive rezoning for the area. However, the comprehensive rezoning would allow heavy commercial uses in addition to the marina on the property.

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Residents said they didn’t feel they were being heard by councilmembers.

“We’re your constituents, and we feel like every one of us has come and opposed [the rezoning] but the votes are not going in our direction, and it just doesn’t make sense,” said Melanie Arena, a longtime resident.

Councilmember Lisa Rodvien said she wasn’t sure what the council’s other options were. Because the rezoning bill is required by state law and was set to expire May 10, the council had to come up with something, Rodvien said.

“It would have to come back [if rejected], but it would mean revisiting every single thing that we had gone through and this [was] basically a three-month process,” Rodvien said.

Every 10 years, the general development and zoning plans for the county must be reviewed. The rezoning for Region 7, which includes Greater Annapolis, Annapolis Neck, Bay Ridge, Highland Beach and Riva, came before the council for a final vote May 7.

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Located about 5 miles from downtown Annapolis, the marina opened in the 1950s. In addition to the boaters it draws, people gather to enjoy water activities, jump in the pool and watch the sunset. The marina is home to powerboats as well as sailboats, according to its website.

Blonder is pushing what has been dubbed an “eco-resort.” According to news reports, Blonder’s plan includes solar panels for electricity and geothermal heating and cooling, with the hotel designed to have net zero carbon emissions.

The Arundel Rivers Federation is not supportive of the hotel project but has maintained open dialogue with the developers, according to news reports. The federation has said it is concerned about sediment pollution but that there could be improvements in storm water management at the site.

Blonder plans to put in a new sewer pumping station that would significantly reduce sewage going into a septic system.

He noted that his plans to build a hotel at the Liberty Marina site have been in the works for years.

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“There are always people that are going to not want to move forward, but if they realize the benefits and they care and [knew] what it was going to do for the county and the environment, I think they’d be all for it,” Blonder said. “It’s a great project.”

Christina Pompa, a deputy planning and zoning officer for the county, said an application to rezone property came in during the comprehensive review and staff recommended a split zoning, heavy commercial marina and heavy commercial.

A stakeholder advisory committee reviewed the request and recommended the change, as well.

The application went to the Planning Advisory Board, which reviews all master plans and things like comprehensive zonings. The board made a positive recommendation. All of those recommendations went into the legislation that was before the County Council, Bill 9-24, Pompa said.

The changes were incorporated into the comprehensive rezoning bill that was ultimately passed by the County Council.

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Council chair Allison Pickard said she believed the county produced a result that reflects the wishes of the community with respect to properties that are developed.

“I hope others feel that we have reached a good result,” she said.

Owen Smith, another resident, was not satisfied.

“You said, ‘We listened and not everybody gets what they want and that’s governing.’ I think sometimes telling powerful people what they don’t want to hear is also leadership,” Smith said.

After a brief recess, councilmembers agreed there was no way to put an amendment together for a vote that same night.

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“I’m sitting here completely caught off guard,” Rodvien said. “Obviously, there’s a sense that there are unaddressed concerns, but I would also like to state that, first off, what we vote on tonight is not approving any plan.”

Blonder said he is still in the early stages of development.