'A Direct Effect On Us'

March 03, 1995|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,Sun Staff Writer

Howard County Councilman Dennis R. Schrader's proposal to draft a master plan for the North Laurel area has angered some Savage residents, who say they don't want to be left out of the process.

"North Laurel is right next to us," said William Waff, president of the Savage Community Association. "It seems to me that anything they do has a direct effect on us."

What's more, he said, the county spent $10,000 in 1981 for a 25-year master plan that included all the areas Mr. Schrader is examining, as well as the Savage and Guilford communities.

Mr. Schrader said he had not read the document, which has more than 130 pages and which Mr. Waff delivered to the councilman's office earlier this week.

"I don't know how comprehensive the analysis was," said Mr. Schrader. "I've got to go through it and get an assessment. The area has changed dramatically in 14 years." Mr. Schrader -- who represents North Laurel, Savage and southeast Columbia -- is developing a new master plan for the North Laurel area in response to complaints from residents about such things as drainage problems, school crowding and dense home construction.

When the first-term councilman was elected in the fall, he made resolving problems in the county's southeast region a priority.

His master plan would guide improvements in the 22-square-mile North Laurel planning area, which is roughly bounded by Gorman Road on the north, U.S. 29 to the west and Howard's borders to the south and east.

The plan would examine transportation issues, land use, storm water management, recreation and community facilities, schools and the area's businesses.

But Mr. Schrader and other county officials say either that they know little about the 1981 plan or have not looked at it in some time.

Marsha McLaughlin, deputy director of the Department of Planning and Zoning, said she would "dust off" her copy of the North Laurel-Savage master plan and take a look at it.

The 1981 study includes land bounded on the north by the Middle Patuxent River and the stretch of Route 32 in the Savage and Guilford communities, by U.S. 29 to the west and by Howard County's borders to the south and east.

The study identifies historic sites, gives population growth estimates through 2000 and recom- mends the development of parks and community centers.

Mr. Waff said any future studies should be based on the 1981 document and should include the same areas.

"It probably could withstand an updating," said Mr. Waff, who was one of 15 residents who helped draft the plan. "But I would hate to see them trash the whole thing and start all over again."

Patsy Yingling, president of the North Laurel Civic Association, said she thinks the emphasis should remain on the North Laurel area and the needs of that community. Savage's interests should be secondary, she said.

"Savage has everything," Ms. Yingling said. "Savage has a park. They're renovating Carroll Baldwin Hall for a community center. There's a lot of things we need."

She also complained about a lack of follow-up on the 1981 study.

"Every time we turn around, something's getting pushed back," Ms. Yingling said.

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