Officials Press For Curbs On Growth, Health Care Costs

Planners, Farmers Support Schaefer Proposal

February 19, 1992|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff writer

ANNAPOLIS — The county planning director and Carroll Farm Bureau members, critics of a Schaefer administration plan to curb suburban sprawl last year, supported the governor's revamped growth management legislation Monday.

"It meshes with (Farm Bureau) policy," said Hampstead farmer Holly Fleming of the governor's plan. "It leaves control in local hands, and there's no immediate taking of property rights."

Planning Director Ned Cueman and the farmers opposed legislation sponsored by Del. Lawrence A. LaMotte, D-Carroll, Baltimore, that hassimilar aims but goes further to ensure that local governments properly manage development.

LaMotte says a "check" is needed on local planning to make sure that development doesn't take place where it's not planned.

"I defy anyone to show there is a relationship between the master plan and what actually happened" from 1985 to 1990 in Carroll and Baltimore counties, LaMotte said at a packed hearing. He referred to state maps showing significant development outside Carroll's urban centers in areas reserved for agriculture.

Cueman disagreed with LaMotte and the state maps, contending that Carroll's land-userules and recent development are consistent with the master plan. Some development in the expansive agricultural zone represents the completion of subdivisions that were in the pipeline prior to the adoption of more restrictive laws in 1978, he said.

The governor's bill would require local jurisdictions to integrate in their comprehensive development plans seven goals for curtailing sprawl, protecting the environment and encouraging sensible and less costly growth. It also would establish a state commission to review local governments' progress and assist them in achieving the goals.

Cueman objected to lastyear's administration bill because he believed it gave the state toomuch power over local land-use decisions. Carroll farmers said the plan would interfere with their property rights and equity.

Under this year's administration bill, "at least local people will have the opportunity to work in familiar territory," said Mount Airy farmer C.William Knill, Maryland Farm Bureau president. "We're not of the opinion that central control knows best for everyone."

LaMotte's billwould require the state Office of Planning, or the state commission,to determine whether local land-use laws are "substantially consistent" with the jurisdiction's comprehensive plan.

If an inconsistency is found to have widespread impact and local government does not correct it, LaMotte's bill would allow the state to withhold money for a variety of projects. The local government would be able to appeal that decision to an arbitration panel.

The governor's bill also contains provisions that could result in the withholding of money for projects.

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