Chamber unit tackles county growth issues

One on one

October 01, 1990

One on One is a weekly feature offering excerpts of interviews ? conducted by The Evening Sun with newsworthy business , leaders. Ted Herget, chairman and chief executive officer of = Herget C&B Consulting Group, heads the Business 0 Development Council, a unit of the Baltimore County Chamber of ? Commerce.

Q. Now that a year has passed since the Business Development Council was revitalized, what major activities are you planning?

A.The number one priority we have right now is a study on the capping of residential growth to the capacity of schools. Right now there is a moratorium on residential building in various school districts where there is overcrowding of the schools. This lid touches on a lot of different areas. We are not saying that you should or you shouldn't control that growth. We as the Business Development Council have recommended to the board of the Baltimore County Chamber and they have approved an independent study of this whole area.

Q. How will the study be done?

A. We have commissioned an independent consulting firm, Tischler and Associates, who have done similar studies around the country, to make a complete in-depth evaluation which may find some problems not just with building in the school district but other areas of difficulty.

Q. When does the study get under way?

A. On Tuesday, we're going to sign the contract and begin the study. The estimated completion date is by the end of January.

Q. What do you see as the major development issues confronting Baltimore County?

A. I guess one side of the fence is saying the county is trying to grow too fast, the other side of the fence is saying Baltimore County is not growing fast enough. From my standpoint, we want to make sure we have good solid growth, not uncontrolled growth. You don't want to stand still because once you stand still in the development and growth area, you wind up going backwards. Areas are trendy, I think, and as long as we can get a good solid number of resources that will attract new businesses and help businesses stay in the Baltimore County area, we should have that controlled growth.

Q. Are you concerned that Baltimore County might soon be reaching its limit on growth...that expansion will be farther from the city, or is there still a lot of potential for growth?

A. Yes and yes. I see us moving farther and farther out all the time, and I personally hate to see nice rolling pastures and farmland being sprinkled with houses here and there. But I do see growth moving out all the time. On the other hand, there are pockets...where I think good solid controlled growth, architectural design, review committees and so forth can enhance existing areas.

Q. What are the pockets where you see a need for control?

A. There are three that come to my mind in particular based on information we have received from Baltimore County: Perry Hall, Sparks, and Carroll Manor. This is based on the lack of adequate school facilities. What this Tischler study will do is tell us how we got to where we are with this problem, and they're going to provide some guidance with some alternatives on how to help solve the problems. And lastly, they're going to determine some revenue needs and potential revenue sources.

Q. Who are the members of the council?

A. The membership is comprised of approximately 25 individuals zTC representing various segments of the business sector in Baltimore County. Some of the business sectors are development, utilities, legal, manufacturing, retail, banking and financial services, accounting, education, health care and media.

Q. What circumstances surrounded the formation of the council?

A. The overall mission of the Chamber of Commerce is to continue to help make Baltimore County a better place to live, work, play and do business, really meaning the enhancement of the quality of life. Part of that is business and economic development and because of that we are focusing much of our attention on that area.

Q. What are the goals?

A. The goals of the council are threefold. One is promoting the responsible development and revitalization of Baltimore County. Secondly, helping its business and industry to compete and be profitable, and last but not least, encouraging new businesses to locate in the county.

Q. How have you worked toward those goals?

A. Our primary emphasis has been on helping to retain existing businesses in Baltimore County. Based on numerous studies, it's found that most of your growth -- probably 80 percent -- comes from existing businesses. Since 80 percent of our growth comes from them a lot of our time has been spent on these businesses.

Q. What do you do for these businesses?

A. We're counseling on average 25 business a month, sitting down with various businesses, asking them how they are doing. Is there anything we can do? Are they having any problems?

Q. Do you have an example of a business you've helped?

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