Planning for the 21st century Anne Arundel County: Residents can help shape land-use maps at hearings this week.

April 23, 1996

IF ANNE ARUNDEL residents have opinions on what the county should look like at the outset of the next century, they can express them at three forums being held this week.

County residents shouldn't miss this opportunity to have a voice in determining where future business, commercial and residential development will go. They also have a chance to make suggestions that can improve the appearance of their communities and ensure that future development enhances the quality of life.

These forums are an important component in the process of revising the county's General Development Plan. It has been 10 years since the last master plan update. The current effort is designed to reflect the growth that has occurred in the interim as well as to correct some past mistakes.

A steering committee of 29 government officials and business and community leaders has drafted four alternative scenarios for future development.

They range from continuing present trends to allowing more intense development in areas around commuter- and light-rail stations. Also at stake are questions about how the county should revitalize older neighborhoods, preserve open space and where to channel new residential growth.

The steering committee's intent is to focus future development in the 40 percent of the county that is currently served or is to be served by sewers. The other 60 percent is to remain as open space, farmland or wooded areas with sparse development.

Although most residents would prefer to know what will rise up on the empty lot down the block, or whether multi-family housing will replace their neighborhood's aging strip shopping mall, the goal of these forums is to build a broad framework. Zoning for specific parcels will be set or modified after the master plan is adopted.

People interested in the future of their communities owe it to themselves to attend one of these forums. They run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at Arundel High School, Wednesday at Anne Arundel Community College and Thursday at Glen Burnie High School.

If residents fail to make their views known, only those with special interests will be heard.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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