Marlow Rezoning Piece MisleadingAs noted in the article...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 15, 1995

Marlow Rezoning Piece Misleading

As noted in the article printed in the Dec. 29 edition of The Sun for Howard County, I am the attorney for Willard Marlow, who has requested a rezoning of his property in Fulton. The article was misleading to readers unfamiliar with the rezoning. . . . The article characterizes the proposed subdivision as "dense," and the lots as "small." What the article fails to mention is that under the mixed-use zoning, the property could be developed with the same number of housing units, on smaller lots, including townhouses and retail and employment uses as well. Instead, the owner has proposed larger-lot detached homes, with no retail or employment uses, with the same amount of open space that would have been present in development under mixed use.

As to any perceived inappropriateness in each landowner developing property in the entire mixed-use area his or her own way, that entirely permissible situation is present now under the mixed-use development. . . . This "piecemeal" approach (as that word is used in the article) would have infinitely worse consequences for the area as a whole than this request for residential development on larger lots with no retail or employment uses.

Further, the reporter mentioned the current underlying rural residential zoning and permitted development therein, but failed to state the reasons why that zoning was inappropriate for the property, as I articulated to him. The property borders U.S. Route 29, with business and commercial uses in close proximity. . . .

Thomas M. Meachum

Ellicott City

Golf Over Schools

. . . Though I love golf and the opportunity to play golf at an affordable price, I question our County Council's priorities if they agree to subsidize a golf course while our children . . . are crammed into portable class rooms, threatened with redistricting to alleviate overcrowding and made to depend on grocery store register receipts to provide them with needed schoolroom technology.

The good book says, "Wherever a man puts his treasures, so is his heart." Well, it appears our local officials prefer good golf over excellent education. . . .

Jim Mundy

Ellicott City

Robey's Record

Does Kevin Thomas have an ax to grind? In reviewing all of his editorials which mentioned the police department over the last year, it seems that he has a rather negative view of the Howard County Police Department and Chief Jim Robey.

Has Mr. Thomas taken time to congratulate the department for winning federal funds under the crime bill, which will allow the department to hire eight new officers? Has he been aware of the sensitive nature of many of the cases handled by the department? Where was he when the department received its national accreditation -- something held by relatively few other police departments around the nation?

I commend Chief Robey for his many efforts: the opening of two neighborhood police offices in Columbia, the bicycle patrol, Citizens Police Academy, Citizens Advisory Council, the Police Foundation, his crackdown on liquor sales to minors, his commitment to the DARE program and Camp Bear Trax, etc. The police department and Chief Robey deserve a lot of credit for a decreasing crime rate even though their funding needs have not adequately been met in the last few years. To Chief Robey and the men and women in blue, keep up the good work.

J. Michael Kendrick

Elkridge

School Bus Policy

This letter is in response to your editorial of Dec. 19, "The Magic School Bus," in which you wrote that the Howard County PTA Council is "insisting that officials change a county school system policy on busing students." Further, the editorial states that the PTA Council "is also considering recommending bus service for all students." Both statements are erroneous.

It is true that the safety of children going to and from school is a serious concern of many of our parents at many schools. In fact, safety concerns and questions raised by many of our PTAs led to the passage of a motion at our Nov. 7 general membership meeting. The motion read: "That PTA Council request from the Department of Education a more definitive description of the term 'adequate (acceptable) level of safety' where it pertains to children being transported/walking to school; and a clarification of the process by which parents may appeal an administrative decision." To date, that motion is the only action taken recently by the PTA Council general membership on student walking/busing safety. Asking for a more definitive description of a term and clarification of a process is hardly the same as insisting on changing the policy.

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