Having encountered a formidable roadblock in the General Assembly in its quest to rein-in development sprawl, the Schaefer administration wasted little time seeking another approach: clamping down on unfettered growth by requiring local cooperation in land-use controls if counties want to obtain state money for schools, roads, parks, water and sewer plants.
While this is an entirely logical -- and sensible -- way to proceed, the administration has blundered in pursuing this proposal so quickly after being rebuffed in the legislature. It strikes lawmakers and local officials as an effort to punish those who opposed the "2020 commission" recommendations for statewide growth controls and also to sidestep the General Assembly.
Before proceeding further in this direction, the governor's staff ought to take time for a pause. No effort at statewide land-use control can succeed for long without a solid foundation that has the support of county elected officials, planning and zoning bureaucrats and key state legislators.