Council lets land bill die

May 08, 1994|By Phyllis Brill | Phyllis Brill,Sun Staff Writer

A bill that would have revised standards for panhandle lots in agricultural and residential districts was effectively killed by the County Council on Tuesday in a 4-3 vote to indefinitely postpone action on it.

Panhandle lots are properties that share a single, private driveway off a main road.

The bill, sponsored by County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, would have revised regulations established in the county code in 1984 to allow development of up to six lots off a single private road that could be up to 1,000 feet long.

County planners said the legislation would have given farmers more flexibility in the use of their land, allowing them to sell parcels away from main roads and minimizing interference with existing farm operations.

Twenty-one amendments relating to the legislation were before the council Tuesday when President Jeffrey D. Wilson suggested that the bill be allowed to die.

He said the zoning issues are similar to those addressed in another bill, being drafted by the Rehrmann administration.

That legislation, which was called for in the county's rural plan adopted last year, will define standards for allowing a portion of a farm to be developed into residential lots of less than 2 acres -- the minimum size now allowed in an agricultural zone -- while preserving the farm's agricultural designation and maintaining the same overall density of the area.

Theresa M. Pierno, a District C Democrat who voted to postpone action on the panhandle lot bill, said she was concerned about the potential misuse of panhandles in urban-residential areas.

She had introduced amendments to limit the length of a panhandle in those areas to 300 feet and the number of lots off the private road to two.

Republicans Susan B. Heselton of District A and Robert S. Wagner of District E also voted to table the bill, which had won the support of the Harford County Farm Bureau.

In other council action:

* The council adopted a resolution that urges the state to designate a segment of Route 24 as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Parkway and to allow for the establishment of a privately funded monument to Vietnam veterans along the route.

The state cannot consider a formal proposal until the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

But the resolution, which was requested by the Northeastern Maryland chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, urges the state Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transportation Commission to support the idea.

The veterans want to rename the eight-mile stretch of Route 24 from Edgewood to the Bel Air Bypass and build a monument on the state-owned open space where Route 24 merges into the bypass.

Chapter officials estimate that about 7,000 Vietnam veterans live or have lived in Harford County.

* The council approved a bill broadening regulations on sales at farmers' roadside stands and markets.

The legislation allows the owners of a produce stand with agricultural zoning to sell farm products produced on other farms as well as their own. It also allows up to 20 percent of a stand's area to be dedicated to nonagricultural products.

* The council approved the semi-annual update on the county's water and sewer plan. Before the vote, Mr. Wilson withdrew a controversial amendment that could have penalized municipalities that annex property by withholding water supply to the annexed area.

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