NEW WINDSOR — The County Board of Zoning Appeals has approved a request, with conditions, allowing an all-terrain vehicle club to use a farm off Bixler's Church Road northeast of Westminster for riding.
E. Maxine Bixler was cited in May by the county zoning office for operating a "racetrack" on the 162-acre farm between Deep Run Road and Bachman ValleyRoad. Bixler and her son, Mark, appealed the violation and requestedan exception be granted to allow ATV riding.
The board also denied the Bixlers' appeal of a junkyard violationon the same property, although Chairman John Totura dissented. Mark Bixler said he used the scrap metal to fix farm equipment.
Earlierthis year, Commissioner President Donald I. Dell identified the Bixler case as an example of over-aggressive zoning enforcement. He directed the zoning office to relax enforcement, but the order later was rescinded because of possible legal conflicts.
ATV riding has takenplace on the property since 1980, said members of the North Eastern Trail Blazer ATV Club Inc. Club members and the Bixlers argued that ATV enthusiasts need a place to ride in the county.
Opponents expressed concern that ATV riding could cause noise, damage the environment, create increased traffic on rural roads and lead to other activities on the property.
To minimize adverse impacts, the zoning board required the applicants to: submit an environmental protection plan and a design for the ATV facility; limit ATVs allowed on riding trailsat one time to five, and ATVs on the premises at one time to 10; restrict riding times from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; and prohibit riding on Sundays.
SIGN COMPROMISE SLATED
The county zoning administrator has devised an amended zoning ordinance that would allow real estate companies to place directional and open house signs on properties other than those being sold, under certain conditions.
The proposal will be sent to the Carroll County Association of Realtors for comment, then to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Realtors have said that business has been hindered by arestrictive county ordinance regulating the placement of signs.
The conditions set standards on the times the signs can be displayed, their size and design and the number of signs at any one intersection. Also, Realtors would be required to obtain permission from propertyowners as to where the signs are placed.
COUNCIL HEARS CONCERNS
DATELINE: NEW WINDSOR
Jolene G. Sullivan, director of the Department of Citizen Services, will speak to the Town Council at 7:30 p.m. today.
Sullivan will discuss the availability of affordable housing in the county.
Also on the monthly council agenda, Boy Scouts will give details of their recycling plans for the town. Troop 391 has been collecting the community's recyclable items once a month.
The meeting will be in Town Hall, 211 High St. Information: 635-6575.
Carroll's Bureau of Water Resource Management andthe Bureau of Housing and Community Development will receive additional federal grant money.
The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $7,285 to continue a project developing a local ground water protection plan, bringing the total to $85,285.
The county will supply $4,489 of the $89,774 project cost.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved $140,590 for contract authority and $702,950 over five years in the rental certificate program, providing 22 certificates.
Eleven certificates will help the homeless.
DOMINO'S MOVES AHEAD
An action Monday by town planners could pave the way for a Domino's Pizza outlet in the BarnesCenter.
At its regular monthly meeting, the town Planning Commission voted, 3-1, to approve a request to change the zoning designationof the two-story center on Ridgeside Drive to mixed-use. Previously,the upper level was designated for retail and the lower level for office.
The change would allow the pizza outlet -- or other retailers -- to set up shop in the center without approaching the commission for approval.
Also on Monday, the commission unanimously voted forconditional approval of preliminary plans for Nottingham Village, a 38-lot residential subdivision proposed for Watersville Road.
The planners also voted to recommend that the Town Council approve variances for street design in Summerwood, a proposed subdivision of 50 single-family homes near the intersection of Main Street and Village Oakes Drive. The developer wants street widths ranging from 24 feet to 26 feet, which is less than the minimum range of between 32 feet and 34 feet in the town street-design guidelines, said Town Planner TeresaBamberger.
RADIO APPLICATION IS SET
The county commissioners haveauthorized the county emergency services administrator to proceed with a $2,000 application requesting radio frequencies from a federal agency as part of a communications system upgrading.
The project, estimated at $6 million, would replace the existing system, used sincethe 1960s, with a more technologically advanced model that would cutdown on interference and provide more channels and reliability.
The county must reserve radio channels from the Federal CommunicationsCommission, but can give them back if the project, which would take about five years to implement, is canceled.