County Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass has urged her fellow council member and Zoning Board chairman to respond to the public outcry over proposed mixed-use zoning by sending the plan back where it came from.
Ms. Pendergrass, a 1st District Democrat, is the second council member calling for the mixed-use zoning regulations to be sent back to the county planning department for further study.
The county administration's eastern comprehensive rezoning plan, which is modeled after the 1990 General Plan, creates four major mixed-use centers in Fulton, North Laurel, Jessup and southern Ellicott City. The centers would allow a combination of shops, houses, apartments and businesses, similar to a Columbia village. Hearings on comprehensive rezoning are scheduled to continue Jan. 6.
"Clearly there has been great anger and frustration with the zoning process to this point," Ms. Pendergrass wrote in a Friday letter to Zoning Board Chairman C. Vernon Gray.
"One of the greatest concerns expressed was that the administration's outreach program did not involve citizens enough during the early stages of planning the mixed-use concept," she wrote.
"I believe we should send back these regulations with the understanding that a managebly sized committee would be formed to rework the [mixed-use] designation."
County Executive Charles I. Ecker voiced no objection to the idea. "If that's what the Zoning Board requests, then I wouldn't have any problem with that," he said.
Last Tuesday, Mr. Ecker was informed that fellow Republican and Councilman Charles C. Feaga had come out strongly against mixed-use zoning proposal. Mr. Feaga, whose 5th District includes Fulton, the rural area that has aroused the most public ire, said he would propose that mixed-use centers be removed from the General Plan. The 20-year growth plan is used by council members, sitting as the Zoning Board, as a guide in comprehensive rezoning.