2 groups study Crofton, duplication feared One wants to join, the other says no WEST COUNTY--Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

January 05, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Two community associations are planning studies of what people would like to see in the Crofton area, leaving some members of both organizations concerned that efforts are being needlessly duplicated.

But while the president of the Greater Crofton Council still hopes to combine efforts, a member of the Crofton Civic Association who is responsible for his group's $2,500 study said the two projects can't be wed.

"They are totally different," said Jon Grant, director of planning and zoning for the civic association, which represents 10,000 people living in the Crofton special tax district.

Last month, the association's 13-member board allocated money for Mr. Grant's study, which he said could take two years and involve hiring a college graduate student to coordinate.

In doing so, the board decided not to participate in a yearlong study being conducted by the Greater Crofton Council, an organization that represents 17 communities in the Crofton ZIP code but located outside the special tax district.

Mr. Grant said the council's study, a survey mailed to 3,800 households, will not be accurate and representative.

"The survey method is not something we are in favor of," he said. "We don't think it gives a picture of the reality of the current situation. Only certain types of people respond to things sent by mail."

Donna Arbogast, president of the Greater Crofton Council, said last week that her organization has received 400 responses, including some letters.

Ms. Arbogast said she is drafting a letter to civic association President Ed Dosek, and she is "still hoping we can work together."

Ms. Arbogast said she agrees with civic association members that the original survey form had too many questions and was unfocused, but noted that the one eventually sent out only asks seven questions.

One association board member, Kathy Trebelhorn, agreed. She cast the lone vote against the group's $550,000 budget last month, saying the $2,500 for the planning study would be better spent on Town Hall personnel.

She said Mr. Grant's plan does "some of the same stuff the GCC is trying to get done through volunteers. I am very upset and disappointed that we didn't mail out the GCC study."

The Crofton council wants to work with county planning officials to design a future zoning concept for orderly growth. Since the special tax district is almost completely built out, she is worried that whatever the civic association does will duplicate her efforts.

"We will continue to do what we are doing," Ms. Arbogast said. "But if the county is ever going to take us seriously, we are going to have to work together."

Linda Newsom, a member of the Greater Crofton Council who is recording the survey information, said responses have been both varied and predictable.

For instance, many residents fear too much growth, don't want any new town houses or apartment buildings and complain about traffic.

But some asked for a regional mall and many want a community center and family restaurant.

"People are pretty much split on those," Ms. Newsom said.

"Some people said yes, yes, yes and others said absolutely not," she said. "I don't know what's going to happen with that question."

But Mr. Grant said the methods used by the Crofton council are unscientific, because they don't represent a cross section of the community.

He also complained that they allow people to voice their thoughts on ideas that are unfeasible.

But he refuses to discuss his ideas or what exactly the $2,500 will be used for, saying he plans to issue a detailed press release later this month.

He said one aspect of his plan may include hiring a graduate student to coordinate dealings with the county and interview groups of residents.

"It tends to be more comprehensive, instead of sending out a survey to people," he said of his method.

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