20 Acres a LotEditor: I'd appreciate the opportunity to...


February 09, 1991

20 Acres a Lot

Editor: I'd appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Jan 27 letter that was critical of the Maryland Farm Bureau's policy of opposing zoning changes that would adversely affect the farmer's land value without just compensation.

The letter supported the 2020 plan that would require 20 acres of land in rural areas in order to build a house.

Obviously a farm that is sold for development is no longer a farm. However, the 2020 plan would require the farmer to sell at least a 20-acre parcel in order to sell a piece of land for someone to build on.

As it is now, the farmer can sell a much smaller piece of land when he needs money. Land value is reduced when a larger parcel of land is required in order to build one house. This is one reason why most people who own rural land are opposed to the 2020 plan.

Even though the farmer would have to discount rural land in order to sell one building site, the price would still be too high for most average-income families to afford as a building site.

The 2020 plan would eventually force low and moderate income families into the town center growth areas. Only the more affluent families would be able to build in the rural areas of Maryland.

The state has no right to place unreasonable restrictions on the farmer's right to sell his land for its proper value. The Farm Bureau, and all freedom-loving citizens, should continue to oppose the governor's plan to take local zoning away from local jurisdictions and place it in the hands of state bureaucrats.

J. Douglas Parran.

St. Leonard.

Equity for Farmers

Editor: I am writing in reply to Claire B. Mulford's lette questioning the Maryland Farm Bureau's position of opposing the so-called 2020 plan. He says that zoning changes would affect only a farm that is for sale. This is totally untrue. With the proposed changes and, worse yet, the unknown regulations that could be imposed on farm land in the future if the 2020 plan is enacted, there could be a great reduction in the equity in the land. When the farmer or land owner goes to a banker to borrow money, his borrowing potential will be greatly reduced.

The Maryland Farm Bureau supports some of the principles adopted by the commission, including preservation of the agricultural economy. However, for a strong agricultural economy to survive, the proposal must address the preservation of property equity. It is important that agriculture continue to have the opportunity to use the equity for borrowing purposes, which in turn sustains agriculture.

I am sure that there are very few people who would give up equity in their property without demanding just compensation for it.

The Maryland Farm Bureau advocates the existence of rural, agricultural areas, but that can be achieved through local control and the Maryland Agricultural Preservation Foundation, not through 2020.

Edward J. Allen.

Prince Frederick.

Inept Wilzack

Editor: I was appalled to read Adele Wilzack's response at th recent hearings regarding the Maryland State Games. Ms. Wilzack's response to such blatant mismanagement of finances is stated simply -- ''I am a nurse'' and that she knows little of accounting or management.

As a registered nurse, I can assure you there are many nurses who have successfully dealt with budgeting issues and management of employees. It is a shame that Ms. Wilzack has chosen to use her background in nursing as a scapegoat for her own ineptness.

After eight years as Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, surely we are not to believe that her failure is due to her R.N. license.

Marguerite A. Downs.

Ellicott City.

Bring Troops Home

Editor: Here is a solution to the Persian Gulf war: remove al our forces from Saudi Arabia (except for an aircraft or two) and bring them home.

The damage that we have incurred upon Saddam Hussein is enough to keep him re-building for a long time. With his oil-polluted gulf, wouldn't it be a good idea to let him now stew in his own juice? There certainly will be little left of Kuwait to fight about in any event.

I agree with our president and the Congress in waging this war but at this time we have won it. We can now save countless lives and money by coming home.

Robert P. Miller. Baltimore.

Pot Shots

Editor: This letter is in response to yet another attack by Barr Rascovar in ''Rain on Schaefer's Parade.'' I was once again appalled at the short-sighted opinions of Mr. Rascovar. He sits behind his typewriter taking pot-shots at someone who is out front trying to improve our state -- a state that has improved significantly under the governor's leadership.

Looking toward the future with the Linowes commission and the 20/20 panel is incredibly insightful on Governor Schaefer's part. It isn't easy to make change. Our last governor sat back and did nothing. That's why we're experiencing some of the problems we have today in this state.

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