Committee To Mull Future Of Southwest

September 18, 1991|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

The first major look at land use and planning in southwestern Carroll since 1978 got under way yesterday -- sort of.

Nearly five months after the county commissioners directed the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Planning Department to examine 13-year-old zoning guidelines for the area west of Eldersburg, the planning commission yesterday began a search for eight committee members.

"I don't want to drag with this," said William V. Lauterbach Jr.,the planning committee chairman.

Lauterbach told Gregg Horner, the county planner in charge of forming the search committee, to begin advertising for people to serve on the volunteer committee. Lauterbach wants names to choose from by the commission's October meeting.

The comprehensive look at rezoning of the 20-square-mile patch west of Route 97 and south of Route 26 began in April, when the commissioners rejected the rezoning of a 360-acre farm.

The farm, owned for 60 years by a prominent Eldersburg-area farming family, was to become the site of 108 luxury homes and a $3.5 million, 18-hole golf course had the commissioners approved a zoning change from agriculture to a combination of agriculture and conservation.

Claude R., Edwin E., and Glen I. Rash have contracted to sell the farm to Montgomery County developers Woodfield Partnership for an undisclosed amount. The sale, Woodfield's attorneys have said, depends on the ability to build the homes and the golf course.

In rejecting the rezoning request during private sessions in April, the commissioners said that to approve a change in zoning "without conducting a comprehensive examination of the most appropriate present and future zoning for the other properties in the area would be precipitous and could seriously undermine the viability of the master plan."

The committee will work with Planning Department staff to form a recommendation to the commissioners, who want to complete the process by the end of 1992.

"We need tomove with quite a bit of dispatch," said Edmund R. Cueman, county planning director. "This will take a lot of man-hours."

In other business Tuesday, the planning commission:

* Approved the 15-acre Bowman Spring annexation into the town of Union Bridge. The annexation of 29 existing homes would bring the area into the town's water system, as well as under the town's trash collection, recycling and street maintenance. The annexation must be approved by the county commissioners.

* Sat through a presentation of the state's new forest-preservation act, during which state officials told county officials about the impact of the new law. The act, designed to cut down on the nearly 10,000 acres of forest lost to development across Maryland every year, requires counties to come up with their own sets of regulations and ways to enforce them. The county currently is developing a set of regulations to present to the state. These must be in place by January 1993.

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