Planning Commission backs growth ordinance But economic panel votes its opposition to plan

April 21, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The final revisions to a controversial growth ordinance have won the support of the county Planning Commission, but did little to alter opposition from the Economic Development Commission.

The proposed Interim Development Control Ordinance (IDCO) would place an 18-month ban on new subdivisions while the county reworks its master plan.

The final version, released Friday, establishes an appeals process and exempts from the ban preliminary plan applications made between March 15, 1993, and March 15, 1995.

"Those would be the most viable applications," said Dave Duree, Planning Commission chairman.

An earlier draft had also eliminated building permits from the ban.

"The additional revisions made sense to the Planning Commission and make IDCO a livable ordinance," said Mr. Duree.

That commission voted 4-3 Friday to support the ordinance.

The panel asked for an economic impact study, "so we have an evaluation process for how IDCO is doing," said Mr. Duree.

The county should complete that study before passing IDCO, said Gregory S. Dorsey, president of the Carroll County Chapter of the Homebuilders Association. The association has opposed -IDCO since it was proposed two months ago.

"If the commissioners' goal is to make Carroll County attractive to business, then IDCO contradicts that goal," said Mr. Dorsey.

With one dissenting vote, the Economic Development Commission passed a resolution Friday that opposes IDCO. Members of the business community say the ordinance would have a severe economic impact on the construction building industry, which generated $16 million in revenue for the county last year.

"There are a number of unknowns and a lack of assessment of IDCO's economic impact," said Mike Burden, EDC chairman. "Overall, it sends a bad message to any potential industries coming to Carroll County."

Wayne Thomas, a Hampstead councilman who serves on the EDC, cast the only vote for IDCO.

"Whether IDCO is the best step or not, it is still a step to get growth under control until adequate facilities catch up," said Mr. Thomas.

Crowded schools and roads prompted the County Commissioners to hire Dr. Robert H. Freilich to write the ordinance.

The county needs IDCO to give planners a respite from development while they rework the master plan, Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown said.

The commissioners have scheduled their vote on IDCO for Thursday.

Pub Date: 4/21/96

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