Dairy Farmer To Be Offered Planning, Zoning Position

November 18, 1990|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff writer

The County Commissioners agreed last week to offer a five-year term on the Carroll Planning and Zoning Commission to Union Bridge dairy farmer Dennis P. Bowman.

Commissioner President John L. Armacost recommended the appointment because Bowman lives in the same area of the county as Stuart E. Six, whose term expired Nov. 1.

Bowman, 45, said the commissioners hadn't extended a formal offer as of late last week, but that he would accept the position if asked.

Armacost said he selected Bowman for the vacancy because "he is a gentleman, and he's shown an interest in county government." Commissioners Jeff Griffith and Julia W. Gouge supported Armacost's recommendation.

Bowman said he first met Armacost through choral activities before Armacost became commissioner in 1982. The two have been "friends, but not close" since then, said Bowman.

Six, 44, of New Windsor, who served one five-year term, was offered an extension, but said he declined because of increased job responsibilities. He is co-owner of Donald E. Six Inc., a building materials and construction business in Middleburg.

The planning commission reviews rezoning requests, zoning amendments, municipal annexation petitions and subdivision proposals to ensure they mesh with the county's Master Plan for development. It makes recommendations to the commissioners, except for subdivision plans, which must receive the planning commission's preliminary approval before recordation.

The panel also makes annual recommendations to the commissioners on capital budget requests. It has authority to invoke the county's adequate facilities ordinance, allowing deferral of new subdivisions if public facilities are deemed inadequate to handle growth. The commission invoked the ordinance, for about two months, in August 1988 because of overcrowded schools.

The commission includes five voting members -- four citizens and a County Commissioner -- and an alternate, who can vote in the case of an absence. Bowman would assume Six's spot as a regular voting member.

The only county government-appointed committee on which Bowman has served was a solid waste management panel in the 1970s, he said. He has been a board member of Southern States Cooperative Inc., a farm supply organization.

Bowman, who grew up on his family's Big Spring Farm, owns 240 acres and rents another 1,000 acres. The seven-employee operation has 400 head of cattle.

A 130-acre tract owned by Bowman just outside Union Bridge limits has been rezoned by the county for residential use, but the farmer emphasizes he has "no immediate plans" to develop it.

Bowman now supplies 25 homes outside Union Bridge with water from his farm, but plans to cease the service by the end of 1991. The state and county have offered financial assistance to help the town with the estimated $130,000 project to extend its water system to the homes. County and state health officials recommend the project.

Bowman said he would bring business savvy to the commission. He describes himself as a "fiscal conservative."

He said he wants to serve on the commission to help assure Carroll "avoids problems we've had in the past, especially relating to growth and schools."

Commission Chairman William V. Lauterbach Jr. said it is desirable to have members from each area of the county.

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