Planning panel delays decision on growth plan Advisory vote set for Saturday

April 17, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The county Planning Commission delayed a decision yesterday on the proposed Interim Development Control Ordinance, scheduling a vote on the controversial measure Saturday.

The advisory vote will come two days before the Board of County Commissioners is set to act on the proposal that has drawn fierce opposition from the building industry.

"The consensus is this is one fatally flawed, divisive ordinance," said Robert H. Lennon. "We have a duty to those that find IDCO unworkable to address growth issues in Carroll County."

The ordinance, which would halt development while the county's master plan is revised, is unnecessary because the 1965 blueprint for development is working, said Richard L. Hull, who has founded Citizens for Managed Growth to oppose IDCO.

"We have 30 years of history with this plan," Mr. Hull said. "It has worked and built consensus among the towns. It never ended up in the courts."

Since the county announced plans for IDCO, it has pitted the building industry against slow-growth activists.

"I understand that you would like the luxury of an 18-month breathing period to plan forward," Mr. Hull said to the Planning Commission. "But, 5,400 employees in the industry will be affected."

Planning Commission members said their recommendation will have little impact on the ultimate decision.

"We have had no opportunity to have input, and it is not going to come before us," Robin Frazier said. "The [county] commissioners don't care what we have to say. I want it on the record that nobody knows what we thought of IDCO."

Her colleagues said yesterday they feel overlooked in the ordinance review process, possibly because they would be affected by it. IDCO would take away the commission's authority and reduce it to an advisory board, they said.

"Essentially, our responsibility is taken away," Thomas Hiltz said. "I am supportive of the framework that allows us to manage growth, but land use should be governed by rational principles and not be part of the political process."

David Duree, commission chairman, said the panel's role will be diminished when "we have a good basis with established standards for reviewing facilities."

"I am frustrated when I hear the paralysis of fear override good judgment and honest dialogue," Mr. Duree said. "People have talked more about deficiencies and less about what to do instead."

Robert H. Freilich, a nationally known planner, created IDCO to help Carroll County get a handle on growth. The population has increased by more than 20,000 since 1990.

Many slow-growth activists are residents of South Carroll, where more than one-third of all new homes were built last year. The commission will vote at 7: 30 a.m. Saturday, just before the first in a series of workshops that county officials hope will draw residents into the planning process.

Pub Date: 4/17/96

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