No Waverly Woods

Readers write

August 18, 1991

From: Henry Senatore

Ellicott City

The Waverly Woods plan (to create a residential, commercial and golfing village north of Route 70) is inconsistent and incompatible with the quiet, rural life in the area. We want this area to continue to be a rural bedroom community. No one who purchased property in the area north of Route 70 and west of Route 29 expected that any zoning would be permitted to allow commercial or employment property.

We have no problem taking the short drive to Route 40 to shop at Normandy, Chatham or Bethany Lane Shopping Centers as well as many other commercial properties. I think few of us would be able to change jobs towork at the new employment centers.

Also, many of the commercial properties in the county remain unoccupied. There is, therefore, no reason to invade our rural communities with citified village centers, employment and high-density apartments.

Simply, the loss of this near greenbelt area to increased density and commercialism is too higha price to pay for a public golf course in an area that already has at least two accessible private courses.

We couldn't spend enough time on the idyllic golf course to offset the more dramatic changes in our community that will befall us daily if the plan comes to fruition. I think many Howard Countians want a public golf course, but the "price" as proposed is too high.

Since the County Council has dragged its political feet in adopting an Adequate Facilities Plan and Impact Fees, the increased housing along the Route 99 corridor has meant traffic backups, more serious accidents and overcrowded schools.

There must be an impact on police, emergency and library services aswell. The mission of all county departments should be to plan for and control growth in a manner agreeable to the majority of citizens impacted by the growth.

The Waverly Plan is premature in that it should not have been presented until required growth controlling legislation is passed. Even if Waverly were developed with current three-acre zoning it would still need to meet Adequate Facilities Legislation guidelines.

I hope that many citizens will be involved in the Adequate Facilities Legislation and will seek to have rigorous controls.


From: Edward B. Rogers

Ellicott City

A lot of people are down on developments, but I still think planning is the issue.

I grew up in one that was pretty nice. It was in a suburban area, planned to attract residents with good schools, ready access to major traffic arteries, even foot paths between different areasso you didn't have to drive everywhere made it successful.

It wasa lot like Columbia in some ways. It was also like Columbia in that over the years it seemed to tolerate a pretty wide range of individuals and incomes. A mix of rentals, individual homes, and apartments seemed to allow a nice range of affordability.

Retirees and the occasional artist could be found alongside a cross section of teachers, business people, and other professionals. And even though it is withinBaltimore City limits, whose demise has been widely heralded now foraround 40 years, the property values have held up quite well.

A lot of young and old people alike still aspire to live along the tree-shaded streets and lanes of this comfortable neighborhood.

I'm particularly proud of my neighborhood because it is 100 years old this year. Roland Park remains a shining example of what a well-planned development can turn out to be: a stable, life-enhancing community.

Iwonder what my neighborhood in Howard County will offer a century from now.


From: Robert R. Merriken

Ellicott City

Please allow me to voice my opinion on the subject of new development. My fiancee and I recently purchased a pre-existing home in Howard County. One of the highlights of the area for us is the natural beauty.

New homes and communities will always be built, necessary or not, and I have no real gripe with that.

However, when development ruins the aesthetic beauty of pre-existing communities and totally destroys micro-ecosystems, changes must be made. Laws must be enacted and enforced to keep narrow-minded developers and constructionworkers in line.

No one should have to come home from work and not recognize your neighborhood because some slick operation, who obtained "public approval" at a meeting several years ago, bulldozed away acres of trees and filled in the stream where the kids play in only afew hours.

This scenario is precisely what occurred on Elko Driveand Glenmar Drive in Glenmar two weeks ago.

The government officials of Howard County have a vested interest to keep their county in touch and in tune with nature. These are the aspects which attract people to our area.

There is certainly a balance between development and nature we can all agree upon. Responsible development should be the rule, not the exception. The practice of "grandfathering" cuts theheart out of laws designed to protect our communities and surroundings.

It would be wise and prudent to abolish any and all statutes which allow this antiquated and wasteful practice to continue.

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