WESTMINSTER — The new City Council met for the first time Monday and approved Mayor W. Benjamin Brown's recommendations for chairpersons of the council's standing committees.
Brown presented the five-member council with new assignments for the five committees. The council approved the list of appointments, which are shuffled every two years.
The committee chairpersons approved Monday are: Finance, Stephen R. Chapin Sr.; Public Improvements, Rebecca A. Orenstein; Public Works, Edward S. Calwell; Public Safety, Kenneth A. Yowan.
Also council liaisons to various boards were approved Monday. They are: Planningand Zoning, Chapin; Parks Board, Yowan; Personnel, Orenstein; and Solid Waste Management, Brown.
REZONING IS REQUESTED
The County Commissioners are expected to decide within four weeks on a request to rezone 5.2 acres in Finksburg near the Liberty Reservoir from conservation to industrial.
The Carroll Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended against the request, saying the zoning of the parcel reflected in the 1981 Finksburg and Environs Comprehensive Plan remains valid.
It also cited a 1983 commissioners' decision rejecting a similar rezoning request for the parcel and comments filed in oppositionto the proposal by the county health and water resource agencies andBaltimore City.
James and Carla Uhler of Reisterstown, Baltimore County, have requested that a portion of the 10-acre tract they own north of Route 140, east of Route 91, be rezoned to extend the industrial district.
A rezoning hearing took place Monday.
An attorneyand witnesses for the Uhlers argued that the area surrounding the tract had changed since 1981, one of the requirements for receiving rezoning approval.
James Uhler did not reveal development plans for the parcel.
The commissioners rejected the request in 1983 largely because of the parcel's proximity to the Liberty Reservoir, which provides drinking water to Baltimore City. Carroll Circuit Court upheld the commissioners' decision in a 1985 ruling.
The County Health Department recommended denying the request for four reasons, including its proximity to the reservoir and the potential adverse environmental impacts from industrial uses.
The County Bureau of Water Resource Management cited a reservoir watershed agreement between Baltimore and Carroll counties pledging to limit "additional urban development zoning" within the watersheds.
Brent Hartley, a Baltimore City watershed management director, said the city would support the commissioners' decision, but urged that measures be taken to control storm water runoff and erosion if rezoning is approved.
But he cautioned that granting the request "could set a precedent and open similar landsto more intensive uses."
William R. MacDonald, attorney for the Uhlers, said the land is best suited for industry, not conservation --which allows one residential lot for every three acres. Sufficient buffer exists to protect the reservoir, he said.
POWELL WILL RETIRE
TANEYTOWN -- City Manager Neal W. Powell formalized his retirement plans in a letter submitted to the mayor and the City Council last week.
The council discussed the letter, dated May16, in an executive session Monday following a meeting to discuss proposed revisions to the city's sprinkler ordinance.
After the executive session, Mayor Henry I. Reindollar Jr. said the city will advertise immediately for a new city manager. In his letter, Powell statedhis retirement would begin July 1.
Powell, 70, was appointed citymanager in 1978. Prior to his appointment, he served as a councilmanand as a mayor. He is a former president of the Maryland Municipal League.
Powell, a Kansas native who has lived in the city since 1945, also wrote in his letter that he would be available to "assist in training my successor."
BALLAS DECISION DUE
The state Board of Education could release its decision today on Eldersburg parent Susan Ballas' appeal of a Carroll bus stop policy.
Larry Chamblin, a Maryland Department of Education spokesman, said the decision, if made, could be released during the board's regular monthly meeting, which concludes this afternoon.
Ballas presented her appeal to the state board at its April meeting. Chamblin said if the board did not release a decision at the conclusion of that meeting, it would likely do so the following month.
Ballas has appealed the Carroll board's decision not to grant her a waiver to the district's pupil transportation policy, which allows one morning and one afternoon bus stop. Exceptions are made for emergencies or parents with consistent work schedules and who need day care elsewhere for their children.
Ballas, a nurse whose work schedule changes weekly, sought a waiver to allow her third-grade daughter to get off at another bus stop, 1 mile from theirhome, two days a week.
School attorney Rochelle S. Eisenberg asked the state board to uphold the Carroll board, which is responsible for transporting 20,000 students daily.