Belt Farm testimony being reviewed

February 16, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

The county Planning Commission said yesterday it will review testimony and visit a 205-acre property in South Carroll before it decides whether to rezone the site.

Carroll Development Associates has asked the commission to reclassify the Belt farm, off Route 26 and Bartholow Road, to allow the development of half-acre lots. The land has been zoned R-40,000 -- for one-acre lots -- since a 1977 mini-plan for South Carroll was formulated.

Neighbors are basing their opposition to the rezoning on environmental, traffic and school concerns.

"Several issues need to be resolved before any rezoning," said Barry Marsh, president of the Linton Springs Civic Association.

"The [Sykesville] middle school is grossly inadequate now and 240 more homes would have an adverse impact. An extensive traffic study has shown worse numbers for this area and there will be a serious environmental impact."

Mr. Marsh said the association does not oppose development of the land that adjoins Linton Springs.

"We are asking for responsible development," he said. "The developer can make this economically feasible, if he clusters down."

Gregg Horner, a county planner, gave a lengthy report on the partially wooded property, much of which lies in a conservation zone. Tributaries to Piney Run and Liberty reservoirs run through it.

Teresa M. Bamberger, chairwoman of the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board, said she has serious concerns about "the encroachment of high density development into conservation zones.

"It is important that conservation corridors be wholly maintained so that they can collectively provide the enhanced water quality and wildlife habitat that was intended by the 1977 plan," she said.

Because the area is scheduled for public water and sewer, larger lot sizes are neither necessary nor desirable, said John Maguire, an attorney who represents Carroll Development Associates, developers of the Belt farm property.

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