Planners given until '94 to finish growth controls SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville

August 10, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to give the county Planning Commission at least until the end of 1994 to finish a plan to control growth in Southwest Carroll.

Planning Commission members told the board they need more time to decide about a plan that focuses on Southwest Carroll, but will affect all of the county.

"There isn't a rubber stamp in the bunch," Planning Director Edmund R. Cueman said of the five-member commission.

"This is too important to make a real big decision that fast," Chairwoman Barbara J. Dixon said.

The commission voted 3-2 last month that it needed more time, she said.

The county commissioners had planned to adopt a master plan for Southwest Carroll by the end of this year.

Yesterday, their executive assistant, Robert A. "Max" Bair, warned Planning Commission members they could be dealing with a new board of commissioners if they delay action until late next year.

All three commissioners' terms expire in December 1994. They are eligible to run again.

Many residents have raised objections to parts of a proposed plan written by a committee of citizens. The Planning Commission began considering the plan last month, and members disagree about what it should say.

The proposed plan would create a 1,100-acre village in the area of Route 97 and Eden Mill Road. It also would set up a program to allow developers to transfer development rights in order to cluster growth in certain areas while preserving farmland and open space.

A transferable development rights program allows a land owner to sell his development rights to be used by a builder in an area where development is more appropriate.

The proposed plan seeks to avoid sprawl, member David Duree said.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge suggested the Planning Commission meet with the councils and planning boards in each of Carroll's eight towns to hear their concerns about the proposed plan.

Residents don't know "if it [the plan] is going to be a fair shake all around," she said.

"The towns have to buy it or it goes no place," Mr. Bair said.

If the plan is implemented, developers could transfer developer rights to the new village, but the village could accept only about 1,100 development rights, Assistant Planning Director K. Marlene Conaway said.

County planners have estimated that 10,000 development rights would be needed to preserve 100,000 acres of farmland, which is the county's goal, she said. Some of the development rights would have to be transferred to Carroll's existing towns, she said.

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