Planning Commission Approves Mineral Mining Plan

January 22, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

After making minor revisions, the Carroll County Planning and ZoningCommission voted yesterday to OK a proposed mineral mining plan and send it to the Board of County Commissioners.

The commissioners have scheduled a hearing at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at Francis Scott Key High School in Uniontown to take comments from the public before they vote on the plan.

The Comprehensive Mineral Resources Plan, developed in the last year by a citizens committee, will dictate where mining may occur in the county.

The plan designates parts of the Westminster-New Windsor-Union Bridge area, where minerals lie and where development that would pre-empt mining should be banned.

The plan is designed to balance the interests of residents and mining companies and minimize the environmental impact of mining.

The planning commission, chaired by Barbara Jean Dixon, agreed to retain a controversial requirement that land within a half-mile of an area designated for mining be markedas such on maps.

Last week, the county's legislative delegation rejected a proposed bill that would have required anyone selling land in the half-mile area to notify prospective buyers of mining activity.

K. Marlene Conaway, assistant director of the county planning department, said yesterday that the notification clause should be kept in the plan.

The delegation might support the bill next year, she said.

Even without legislation, record plats -- official land documents kept at the courthouse -- will note the mining activity, Conaway said.

The notification clause is included because many WakefieldValley residents complained that no one told them about mining activity in the area when they bought land, she said.

The planning commission added details to a section of the plan concerning the transferof development rights.

Members supported a proposal to allow landowners in mining areas to sell their development rights to a builder who could use them to increase density in an area designated for residential development.

Development rights could be transferred to agriculture zones outside mining areas and residential zones, Conaway said.

Studies have found about 4,000 acres of Wakefield marble witheconomic value in Carroll. About 1,600 acres could be mined, the plan states.

The planning commission voted unanimously to approve theproposed plan yesterday.

Alternate member David Duree abstained from voting because he has been an active member of the New Windsor Community Action Project, which has opposed parts of the plan.

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