Citizens oppose village

November 24, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Concerns that a crossroads village proposed for southwest Carroll County will create another Columbia dominated comments at a public meeting last night on a proposed master plan for the area.

About 70 people attended the meeting at South Carroll High School, giving comments that the master plan committee will incorporate in its next draft.

"If I wanted to live in a village concept, I'd move back to Columbia from whence I came," said Helen Peddicord. "On paper it sounds very nice, but it's not Carroll County."

Many residents said they didn't want a new town-type area created, but want to continue focusing growth around current residential areas, such as Eldersburg.

The new village, which would contain clustered housing where water and sewer are available, has been proposed west of Route 97 in the area of Eden Mill, Hoods Mill and Fannie Dorsey roads.

The increased-density area, modeled after traditional small towns, would only be allowed if builders purchase development rights from agricultural landowners.

However, committee members and some residents said allowing development to continue as it is will create sprawled housing that cannot be serviced effectively.

"It's a trade-off," said committee member William Knill. "If it [development] continues to sprawl, there will be failing water systems and failing septic systems that will be too spread out to be cost effective for a public system."

The village could have up to 4,000 housing units on 905 acres, said county planner Gregg Horner.

Committee members encouraged residents to let them know what limits they want in the plan.

"We are looking at the outer limits of what we are capable of doing," said committee member Mary Jo Murphy. "If it is unacceptable, we can back off. We are asking how we can back off in a way that is acceptable to you."

Committee members also said they are insisting on planning and approval of roads and other services to the area before they accept the proposed master plan.

The southwest plan covers 50 square miles bounded by Routes 97 and 26, and the Frederick and Howard County borders except for Mount Airy, which has its own county master plan.

Committee members have been working on this plan since September 1990.

They compiled a list of things they liked and disliked about southwest Carroll. Then they detailed six areas of concern: community design and residential development, economic development, recreation, the environment, agriculture, and adequate provision of and funding for public services.

The final draft of the plan, which was due to go to the county commissioners next spring, has been delayed until next fall.

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