Board against rezoning

June 22, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

A developer's request to rezone a South Carroll farm to allow more houses will go to the county commissioners with an unfavorable recommendation.

The Carroll Planning and Zoning Commission voted 2-1 yesterday to recommend against a zoning change on the 205-acre Belt farm that would increase the development potential from about 100 to about 240 houses. The developer, Carroll Development Associates of Ellicott City, recently scaled back its plan to 162 houses.

Members of the Linton Springs Civic Association Inc., which has fought the rezoning, were elated with the recommendation. The association includes 213 homeowners in the Linton Springs and Parkside subdivisions.

"Nobody in the neighborhood is against development," said Barry C. Marsh, association president. "All we want is responsible development. What the developer is proposing is not responsible."

Planning board member Dennis P. Bowman and Chairman Louis J. Pecoraro voted against the rezoning request. Member Robert H. Lennon voted for it. Member Zeno M. Fisher Jr. and alternate David T. Duree were absent.

The county commissioners will make the final decision, after conducting another public hearing.

County zoning law allows the commissioners to rezone individual properties if they conclude that a mistake was made in the original zoning or that the neighborhood has changed so that the existing zoning is no longer appropriate.

The planning board's vote came after five months of study, a public hearing and one scheduled vote that was postponed to allow commission members to obtain more information.

Mr. Bowman said the rezoning request had received the most extensive discussion and study in his four years of experience as a planning commission member.

He said he saw no evidence of change in the neighborhood, "and I can't see where any significant mistake has been made."

In reply to Mr. Lennon's suggestion that the commission consider how planning board members looked at the area when the existing zoning was established in 1977, Mr. Pecoraro said he had to base his vote on what he knows today.

"I can't read their minds," he said.

Mr. Lennon concluded that the 1977 board made a mistake in zoning the farm partly residential for 1-acre lots and partly conservation, which allows development on 3- to 5-acre lots.

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