From: Karen Czarnowsky
Is this Guyana or Carroll County?
If you have a 5-acre lot in the county zoned agricultural or conservation next to your home, and Jim Jones had been looking for a place for a retreat or conference center, Jim could have been offering you a cup of Kool-Aid over your fence.
The Carroll County commissioners, in November 1990, amended the zoning ordinance to permit the construction of a retreat in agricultural and conservation districts.
The ordinance, which is ill-conceived and poorly written, has almost no restrictions. It leaves our county open to any organization or group to begin commercial development. This could range from the wholesome groups like the Boy Scouts to the extreme groups like Hell's Angels and neo-Nazis.
Our group, the Sugar Valley Community Association, is petitioning the commissioners to rescind the ordinance. While we were able to resolve the problem in our area, the next neighborhood may be yours.
Although therewere three articles that appeared in The Carroll County Sun, most countians are unaware of the ordinance that could have such a negative impact on their community.
An attempt was made to construct a large facility with overnight accommodations, complete with swimming pooland tennis court, in our residential neighborhood.
We, as neighbors, organized, raised money, and filed a lawsuit to prevent the fiasco of a zoning hearing. Our saving graces were our strict building covenants and restrictions that allowed only single-family dwellings. Most communities do not have that protection.
This could happen to you. We strongly urge your support of our efforts to repeal the section 5.2H, 6.3CC and 20.30C of the zoning ordinance.
If you would like more information, contact us at Sugar Valley Community Association,P.O. Box 529, Manchester 21102.
TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL
From: James M. Dial
The recent public debate in your paper between Richard L. Anderson and Marilynn J. Phillips over handicapped access to Carroll County Arts Council events would be mildly amusing if it weren't for the fact that, as a taxpayer, I'm paying for both sides of the argument.
In the end, Ms. Phillips won, but only because if the CCAC is going to receive federal funds, it must obey federalregulations.
The crux of the matter for me, as a source of money,is the federal funding through the National Endowment for the Arts. By definition, publicly funded art is art that hardly anyone wants tosee, and therefore must be funded through taxes.
One needs only to consider Redskins season tickets, concert tickets and pay-per-view television to realize that if people want to see something, they willpay whatever it takes to see it.
I don't mind paying whatever is charged to see my favorite artist in concert. If I do, I'll stay home.
But I bitterly resent it when the IRS collects every April 15 onbehalf of the NEA for art I chose not to see, whether it's Maryland Public Television, the Carroll County Arts Council or homoerotic photography in Cincinnati.
I feel no obligation to subsidize the appreciation of the arts by others, whether they be handicapped or not.
But if Mr. Anderson and the others continue to receive federal funds, they will obey federal rules.
If you march in the parade, you follow the drum major.
GROWTH PLAN IS NEEDED
From: Patricia S. Wall
I'd like to express a wish for Mr. Griffith not to waste his many efforts encouraging Carroll's elected officials to forget planning.
They haven't done any practical planning for the last20 years. Why should they start now?
Those of us living in the county view the 10-year Master Plan as one huge joke, albeit a cruel joke being played on the unsuspecting.
What the plan really means isthe county is just now looking at what happened 10 years ago and wondering how it happened and on whom the mess might be blamed.
Yes, Mr. Griffith, town houses certainly do mean density. Have you tried to travel north on Route 30 lately in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Has your town been operating under a water moratorium?
Have your children been sharing textbooks because there aren't enough supplies to go around? Have you marveled at our brand new landfill and wondered why no one has made an effort to insist on curbside recycling?
Have youstood back proudly to gaze at your two new elementary schools, only to realize there is only one middle school and one high school to serve three feeder elementary schools?
Believe it or not, broadening the tax base does not mean building scores of new houses. It means planning a community that will attract industry and create jobs for Carroll County residents. Under our present form of government, the commissioners, mayors and council members are elected by the people to represent the people.
If the people are saying, "Stop unwanted growth until we can manage the growth that has already taken place," it isthe responsibility of our elected officials to heed that desire. That system is called the democratic process.