From: Elizabeth A. Fixsen
Give me a break. Is once-a-week trash collection the end of civilization as we know it?
I hope those folks in Long Reach and Oakland Mills who can't imagine living without two trash pickups a week arenot the same folks who have been screeching about lower taxes and
less government. That demand usually means "cut someone else's services, not mine."
A year ago I moved here from St. Louis Park, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. My family of five got along just fine withone trash pickup and one recycling pickup a week.
Got too much trash? Try buying less stuff with excess packaging. Try composting yourvegetable scraps. Reuse paper for scratch pads, kid's art. Don't buyboxes of plastic bags -- use food storage containers, re-use or recycle your plastic grocery bags. Buy or make some cloth table napkins and a reusable set of plastic picnic ware.
Come on, people. Let's show some creativity and some willingness to change our habits in the face of fiscal and environmental challenges!
LWV SUPPORTS DRAFT
From: Anita M. Iribe
League of Women Voters
An open letter to Theodore F. Mariani, chairman of the RuralResidential Land Use Study Commission:
We are pleased to comment on the draft report of the Rural Residential Land Use Study Commission.
The League of Women Voters of Howard County supports agriculture as the preferred land use in the rural areas of the county. We support rural residential clustering as a means of maintaining agricultural lands and natural environments for a variety of purposes.
The county has recognized the need to take action to preserve the rural character of the west for several years now. The current three-acre zoning does little to support agriculture and results in the sure loss of large open areas.
The commission's report makes a major contribution in clarifying the discussion of rural residential clustering. Weappreciate the definition of several words, such as "hamlet" and "village," that have been bandied about but have a great range of meanings.
We approve the use of the generic word "green space" to describe the undeveloped area of rural cluster. "Open space" is often used generically but in county regulations has a specific legal definition.
"Greenways" similarly is a specific state program but creeps in as a generic description. The report does a good job, through its illustrations, of helping us visualize the potential of rural cluster development.
We appreciate your affirming the recommendations of theGeneral Plan that no attached development take place outside of the planned water and sewer service area. Your support of a minimum lot size of one acre within the cluster configuration is consistent with much of the existing residential development.
We would quarrel withone recommendation however: gross vs. net density.
We would prefer that density be calculated on net acreage (parcel, less unbuildablearea) rather than gross acreage. The county's experience with R-ED proves the significance of one short word.
We would prefer that thecounty take a conservative, lower density, approach to rural residential cluster as outlined in the 1990 General Plan, at least until it is experienced with the concept and the concept has been refined.
The details of the current status (acres committed vs. uncommitted todevelopment, undeveloped land by parcel size) illustrate once again how urgent it is for the powers that be to act to realize the preservation of agricultural lands and green space. We would urge the zoningboard to act promptly to implement the recommendations of the 1990 General Plan. The potential to secure large parcels of greenspace in the west is an opportunity not to be missed.