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Public Voices Opinion On Johns Hopkins University's Gaithersburg Campus

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The proposed expansion of the Johns Hopkins University's campus in Gaithersburg has ignited a controversy in Maryland's Montgomery County.

Last night's public hearing brought out a standing room only crowd to the chambers of the county council. Supporters and opponents had one thing in common, they all wore green stickers declaring their positions. Opponents, such as Gaithersburg's Lynne Rose, proudly sported ones that read "Scale It Back".

The university wants to nearly triple the number of people it employs on the campus, which Rose says would result in already-congested roads in the area being crowded even more. Eric Ross was the only neighbor to speak in support of the plan.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett supports the plan, but Gaithersburg's Mayor Sidney Katz doesn't like the proposed new exits that would accommodate additional commuters using the Sam Eig Highway.

So much interest has been generated over the plan that the county council has scheduled a second public hearing for Thursday night to accommodate the number of people who want to have their voices heard. The council is expected to render its decision on the zoning controversy by the end of this year.

Matt Bush reports....

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