Carroll commissioners iron out kinks in growth ordinance

March 21, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff

The County Commissioners ironed out the kinks in a proposed interim development control ordinance yesterday with its author, a nationally known growth expert.

They could do little to repair what Dr. Robert H. Freilich called the expected "whiplash" he has received from developers, builders and real estate agents who fear the ordinance will stymie business.

"Homebuilders and Realtors are an important economic aspect to this community," said Dr. Freilich, a law professor at the University of Missouri and chairman of the American Planners Association. "The controversy is not bad, but our real problem is to move to a real solution. We must put in the ordinance a good faith effort to manage deficiencies."

Those deficiencies are particularly evident in roads and schools, which have failed to keep up with a population that has grown by 20,000 since 1990. Dr. Freilich has proposed a 20-month ban on new subdivisions to allow the Planning Commission time to rework Carroll's 30-year-old master plan and to deal with severe gaps in the county infrastructure.

"There has to be more emphasis on the county's commitment to deal with the issues," he said. "The next 18 months will be all about finding out if we can do that. Growth has outpaced the ability of infrastructure to deal with it."

The commissioners hired Dr. Freilich in February to help develop controls on growth.

"Our ultimate goal is to keep sprawl down," said Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown.

Building projects, already in the review process, would be subject to adequate facilities certification as they reach the next step in the process. Since the possibility of an ordinance became public two months ago, building permits have soared to 400 for the year, more than double the number for the same three months in 1995.

"We want to make clear that reviews for adequate facilities will occur once," said Dr. Freilich. "This will help resolve problems while you are considering growth issues."

Pub Date: 3/21/96

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