The following editorials appeared in other editions of The...

REGIONAL ROUNDUP

July 24, 1994

The following editorials appeared in other editions of The Sun last week:

Howard County

* In a model of compromise between a landowner and his NIMBY

neighbors, the Howard County Board of Appeals has struck a just arrangement that will allow a Columbia couple to run a flea market on their 17-acre property in Elkridge. Owner Barry Mehta and his wife, Dr. Charu Mehta, want to operate the flea market for four years to finance the start-up of a retirement community at the site. Neighbors have objected, saying the flea market would draw traffic, noise and unwanted people. . . .

The Board of Appeals struck a fair balance between the Mehtas' interests and the community's concerns. . . . Recall that the site is not a pasture but the former home of the Elkridge Drive-In. The Mehtas' operation, while requiring a special exception, is not a huge departure from what was there before.

Moreover . . . not only does the couple plan to use the proceeds from the flea market to finance the retirement community, they also want to donate money to local charities and Grace Episcopal Church in Elkridge. Efforts should be taken to make sure those promises are more than self-serving. . . .

A community's interests in maintaining and even upgrading its surroundings are justified. But they must be balanced with decisions that allow property owners reasonable development rights. . . . July 20.

Carroll County

Some of the county's better minds have been at work attempting to . . . bring tourists to Carroll. They have studied all the traditional draws, such as the Farm Museum and the Wine Festival, and possible future attractions such as an air show. What they really ought to focus on is the tourism potential of the county landfill.

Once again the commissioners are exploring the possibility of turning over a section of the landfill to scavengers. Think of the vast numbers of people who would flock to Carroll to have the opportunity to pick over garbage piles. People interested in getting up close and personal with garbage now have to travel all the way to the fetid dumps of Mexico City. Think of hundreds of thousands of American tourists eager . . . to have a Third World experience without leaving the U.S.A.

If this landfill flea market takes off, it could operate six days a week. Food concessions and souvenir stands would be needed. Think of the job-creating potential. Carroll's landfill could become the engine that drives the county's economic development efforts . . . July 18.

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