Freilich cites inaccuracies

LETTERS

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February 18, 1996

Freilich cites inaccuracies; his critics complain

Following my visit to Carroll County on Jan. 25-26, newspaper articles and an editorial in The Sun for Carroll indicated that I had recommended a 20-month total ban (moratorium) on the issuance of building permits and on subdivision approval to give the county time to undertake its master plan update.

The Sun's report is not accurate.

Interim development controls ("IDC"), as distinguished from moratoria and which I recommended, are a well-recognized planning tool designed to protect the plan during its formative period.

The overriding goal of an IDC is to deter the establishment of uses and to prevent the acquisition of new vested rights that would permit development inconsistent with the subsequently adopted master plan. This does not require a moratorium on the issuance of building permits nor on the continued processing of development applications that are in the development approval "pipeline."

In all cases, the need for protecting the master plan update process and the prevention of the establishment of incompatible uses during the planning period will be balanced against hardships imposed on property owners, developers and builders and the potential economic dislocations that might result from extremely strict and rigid control mechanisms.

For these reasons, an interim development control ordinance for Carroll County must be sensitive to the particular issues and concerns that have already surfaced. These issues would be addressed, reviewed and evaluated during the development of an appropriate interim development control measure. This is precisely the process that we have recommended to Carroll County.

Our firm looks forward to working with the country, the incorporated areas, the citizens, agricultural landowners and the economic sector to produce an appropriate phased growth management element that preserves the quality of life for Carroll County.

Robert H. Freilich

Kansas City, Mo.

The paper reported that the commissioners approved the hiring of Robert Freilich, a consultant to work on a growth management plan, with unanimous approval of the planning commission.

The commissioners did vote unanimously. However, not only was there no meaningful discussion on the merits of hiring Dr. Freilich, as I was under the impression would take place, but the members of the planning commission were never polled.

Had I been asked, my vote would have been "no." The staff at the county planning office is competent to do this job. Dr. Freilich confirmed that in his recent visit.

Dr. Freilich gave Carroll County a great pep rally. Carroll County planners are capable and up to the challenge of developing a plan, and they can do it for 100 percent less than Dr. Freilich's initial fee of $35,000.

Robin Frazier

Westminster

The writer is a member of the Carroll County Planning Commission.

While he wasn't selling "snake oil," it looks like Robert Freilich did a good job of selling himself to the county commissioners and many members of the planning commission, including its chairman.

I heard him give his spiel (about half of it) the other night at the West Middle School and, like everyone in the audience, I couldn't help but be impressed with his grasp of the subject, not to mention his glowing background.

His speech sounded a little "canned," but I guess if you have given it a hundred times, it is bound to. My nose only twitched once during his presentation, and that was when he alluded to the fact that the county could hire a consultant -- he didn't say himself -- for a heck of a lot less than the cost of constructing a culvert.

That sort of confirmed my suspicions that he hadn't come all the way from his home base in Kansas City for a paltry $1,500 consulting fee for his two days here. Although the blueprint that he laid out for controlling growth is hard to fault, there are some nagging questions that should be answered before "shelling out" money for a hired gun, such as: Where is the money going to come from to fund, for example, all the capital improvements that he said "must be paid for before development comes on line"?

In a county where the wounds are still festering from the increases in the impact fees and "piggyback" tax, the idea of raising property taxes would have about as much support among a majority of our citizens as someone suggesting that we extend an invitation to Saddam Hussein to visit our fair county. His visit and what he had to say was a long-overdue "wake-up" call for many, but it doesn't necessarily follow that we should feel compelled to put the bugler under contract, no matter how ominous his shrill notes sounded.

David A. Grand

Westminster

Don't silence county schools' musical instruments

The proposed cutbacks or elimination of some parts of the instrumental music program in Carroll County would be a grave mistake.

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