Commissioners grant waiver to rezone farm Town officials plan to develop 117 acres for industry, houses

March 06, 1996|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,SUN STAFF

The County Commissioners, on a 2-1 vote, set the stage yesterday for Taneytown to move forward with the proposed rezoning of a 117-acre tract for industrial and residential development.

The commissioners granted a waiver of zoning, allowing Taneytown officials to rezone the former Bollinger farm. Under state law, municipalities annexing land cannot rezone the property for five years -- without county approval -- if the proposed use "substantially" differs from the county's master plan.

The tract is designated for agricultural use in Carroll's master plan.

"They gave us everything we asked for," said Charles P. "Chip" Boyles, Taneytown's city manager. "Our thought was that this land would be better used for residential and industrial use, based on our comprehensive plan."

Taneytown officials -- backed by the county's Economic Development Commission -- argued that the state requirement would hinder their efforts to market the tract, considered a viable industrial site because of railroad access.

The county Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended that the county grant the waiver.

"We've been telling everybody that we want to increase the industrial base," Commissioner Richard T. Yates said in endorsing the waiver.

The tract is located on the east side of York Street, northeast of the city square. Under the rezoning, about 50 acres will be for in- dustrial use and the remainder for residential use and open space.

Mr. Boyles said the City Council could vote on the annexation and rezoning requests as early as next month.

"This is an opportunity to rezone considerable land for industrial purposes. [The new use] is also doing what we want by being in a growth area," Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown said.

Mr. Brown said the property would add to the industrial and residential base of Taneytown and was "in the long-term best interests of the county."

Commissioner Donald I. Dell, who voted against the measure, said he would support the waiver if it applied only to the industrial site.

"My personal feeling is that we're always talking about managing growth, and then we do something that loose and let density in at the snap of a finger. [The law] gives the town time to gear up for that increased density," he said.

"I certainly would go along with the rezoning for the industrial land there, but my basic philosophy is that the residential development would happen too fast and impact on the county immediately. Then schools become overcrowded and the commissioners take the heat, not the City Council."

Pub Date: 3/06/96

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