Commission Mulls Contested Mining Plans

January 12, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

County Planning and Zoning Commission members hashed out revisions Friday to a proposed mining plan that has brought an outcry from many Wakefield Valley residents.

The commission, which must approve theplan before it is sent to the Board of County Commissioners, met fora work session with planning staff and members of the citizens committee who helped write the plan.

The plan will dictate where mining may occur in the county. Residents are worried about decreased property values, noise, and truck traffic.

The commission reviewed comments from officials and citizens at the work session but did not vote on any revisions.

The proposed plan received kudos from the director of the Maryland Office of Planning, Ronald M. Kreitner, who wrote:

"Our staff was very impressed with this document. It thoroughly examines all issues and problems involving mineral mining in Carroll and recommends appropriate strategies for addressing them.

"It appears that the county has made every reasonable effort to balance mineral resources needs with environmental protection and citizen concerns," he wrote.

Among the issues discussed Friday was a proposal to require anyone who wants to sell land within a half-mile of an area designated for mining to disclose that the land is earmarked for that use.

Residents, many of whomwere not told about planned mining operations when they bought theirhomes, raised objections at public hearings to the notification rule.

"Citizens said, 'Hey, no one told me, and I don't want to tell anybody else,' " said K. Marlene Conaway, assistant director of the county Planning Department.

David Duree, an alternate on the Planning and Zoning Commission, said the notification "would be like a scarlet letter on a deed" and would not protect current landowners.

A law must be passed by the state legislature before the notification can be required.

A proposal to allow landowners in mining areas to sell their development rights received support at the work session. Under a program that would allow transfer of development rights, landowners could sell rights to a developer who could use them to increase density in an area designated for housing.

Hours of operation for mining companies and setback distances for quarries from residential and public areas also were discussed.

Planners probably will make a recommendation to the commissioners by next month.

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