HAMPSTEAD — The County Commissioners adopted Tuesday a first comprehensive development plan and a corresponding zoning revision for Manchester and the surrounding area.
The commissioners voted unanimously on both proposals, which were in the works for about five years.
The plan will serve as the blueprint for Manchester's growth, identifying sites for residential development, an expanded business district, future schools and roads and a proposed Route 30 bypass to the east of town.
The Manchester Town Council approved the plan last week.
Manchester was the last of nine community planning areas in the county to have an updated comprehensive plan.
GOUGE APPEAL QUERIED
Several Hampstead-area residents objected last week at a County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing to a plan proposed by Jesse Gouge to store and sell mulch products on his Lees Mill Road property.
JesseGouge, whose name appears on the application for a conditional use permit, is the husband of County Commissioner Julia W. Gouge. The application also requests permission to establish a garden supply center.
The 8.3 acre property south of Hampstead is zoned agricultural. Agarden supply center is considered an exception to the zoning laws.
Several neighbors complained that the mulch pile could become an eyesore in the community, especially if allowed to expand. They also expressed concern that the Gouges could receive preferential treatmentfrom the board because of Julia Gouge's political position.
JuliaGouge said that her family has the same right to petition the zoningboard for approval as any other county resident.
The zoning boardis expected to issue a decision on the case by May 25, within 30 days of the hearing.
CURBSIDE RECYCLING SOUGHT
A group of north Carroll residents who voluntarily recycle solid waste at St. George's Church in Manchester has written to the County Commissioners urging them to initiate a curbside recycling program.
The monthly collection effort at St. George's has increased dramatically since its inception in August 1989, the residents said. That effort indicates a "steadilygrowing willingness" on the part of northeast Carroll residents to not only clean and save their recyclables, but to transport them to the collection center at their own expense, they said.
The commissioners responded that they are "actively pursuing a comprehensive recycling program."
No pilot curbside recycling projects have been planned yet.
State law requires the county to recycle 15 percent of the waste it generates by 1994.
DEVELOPMENT SENT BACK
HAMPSTEAD -- The Planning and Zoning Commission has asked the developers of a proposed 290 homes near Highfield Estates to return inMay with a revised plan that takes into account concerns by county engineers.
Those concerns included a cul-de-sac on a new section ofDana Road that could cause traffic-flow problems, another cul-de-sacthat would have required the cutting down of mature trees, the amount of open space that is usable and lots that are set too close a well.
Also, nearby residents attended the meeting to protest the number of homes to go up. They were concerned that the new wells dug will dry up their private wells. Because they are county residents, they said, they might have little pull with the town to remedy such a situation.
Residents also said they worried about traffic problems. Commission members have said they will require the developers, Claude B.and Katherine Widerman and Newman M. and Marie Marsilius, to pay fora traffic study, to be done by consultants chosen by the town and county.
However, that can't be done until the commission approves a concept plan for the development. Such a plan shows the arrangement of lots, streets, open space and other elements.
The earliest a concept plan could be approved would be by the next commission meeting May 27.
DAY CARE LEGITIMIZED
HAMPSTEAD -- Eventhough 21 day-care providers operating out of their homes in town had licenses from the state, they won't be legal in the town's eyes until councilmen change the zoning ordinance.
The Planning and ZoningCommission Monday voted to recommend the Town Council allow day careas a conditional use in residential zones.
Town Manager John A. Riley recommended the change. He said so far the homes have been operating with no complaints from any neighbors, which indicates they are not a problem.
One point still to be decided is whether the day-care operators would pay the one-time $600 fee to operate their businesses, plus extra water charges.
Riley said the fee could be decidedapart from the zoning change. Members of the commission said it was fair for day-care providers pay the same fee required of other businesses.
TOWN, COUNTY OPEN LINES
HAMPSTEAD -- A meeting at which the Town Council acquainted the County Commissioners with important issues here was a great idea and should improve communication, said Town Manager John A. Riley.