Incorporation Report Due Monday

Move Would Give Community Control Over Planning, Zoning

March 17, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Crofton residents will have to wait until Monday night to see if consultants recommend that the community become Anne Arundel's third municipality.

Community leaders -- who say they won't see the report until Monday -- are anticipating a crowd and have moved the meeting from Town Hall to the Arundel Fire Station on Davidsonville Road.

Victor Tervala, a consultant for the Institute of Governmental Affairs at the University of Maryland-College Park, will give the presentation.

Tervala would not divulge the report's contents yesterday.

Tervala said the report concerns itself only with economic issues of incorporation and the types of services offered.

"It is limited to the status quo," he said.

The study, which began in June, concentrates on the special tax district -- the triangle bordered by routes 3, 424 and 450 that includes 10,000 residents.

The district already levies property taxes and supplies supplemental police protection, but is subject to county laws. The county can regulate the tax.

Anne Arundel has only two incorporated municipalities: Annapolis, with a population of about 33,000, and Highland Beach, population 150.

Incorporating would allow Crofton to enact local ordinances, establish business regulations, control land use and receive state and federal money.

It also would allow the community to set up a mayoral form of government, establish its own inspection agencies and acquire property through eminent domain.

At a meeting last year, Crofton Civic Association members said incorporation is attractive because it would give the community control over planning and zoning.

The civic association must decide if there would be an adequate tax base to provide desired levels of service. While incorporating will make available more grants and state funds, strings attached may not make the money worthwhile.

For example, to receive a portion of state highway money, a city must perform its own street maintenance, which would mean establishing a highway or roads department.

But Crofton could form a limited municipality that gives it all the power of a city but still relies on the county for a number of services, such as fire protection, trash pickup and road repairs.

It is unclear what the civic association will do with the proposal. In 1991, the association formed a committee to look at alternate forms of government. But that committee couldn't reach a conclusion and recommended additionalstudy.

If the association pursues incorporation, it will have to decide whether to include the Greater Crofton area.

Then the community must gather on a petition the signatures of 25 percent of the residents and win County Council approval.

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