Linton school proposal is headed for review Compromise reached to have 2 entrances

August 14, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

A plan to have two entrances to Linton Springs Elementary School appeases neighborhood residents but the proposal still must go before various Carroll County agencies before consideration by the Planning Commission.

"I think we came up with a good compromise," said Barry Marsh, president of the Linton Springs Homeowners Association, which had argued against school officials' plans for a single entrance on Linton Road.

The next step will be a review hearing by various county agencies at 10 a.m. Aug. 29 in the County Office Building in Westminster. The proposal could go to the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission for final approval as early as September, if it passes muster with staff.

The school will be built on Linton Road, which is perpendicular to Route 26 in Eldersburg. The road controversy threatened to delay school construction, but work is set to begin this winter and the school will open in September 1998 for 745 students, said Lester Surber, supervisor of school facilities.

The compromise is to have two entrances: a main one at Ronsdale and Linton roads for children who will walk to the school and for a few buses that serve the immediate area; and a second off Klees Mill Road, which runs parallel to Linton Road, for all other buses.

For that entrance, the county will build a road connecting Klees Mill and Linton roads. The school entrance will be off that connecting road. Parents said that entrance will provide safer access to the school.

The only loose end is that the county must buy a piece of land off Klees Mill and negotiate with property owners for access.

"Once that goes through, I'll feel very comfortable," Marsh said.

He applauded the Board of County Commissioners for providing the money for the road. Commissioners will divert as much as needed from $1.5 million that had been set aside for another project: the extension of Obrecht Road to Route 32 in Sykesville, a decision that met frustration with Sykesville officials and residents who say their need is just as urgent.

Ronsdale meets Linton Road in a T-intersection. The school entrance there will, in effect, extend Ronsdale across Linton Road.

But that intersection is at a bad curve, unsafe for schoolchildren, residents have argued. Linton Road in general is not wide enough or straight enough to be safe for a large number of buses, they have said.

The original plan that school officials had was to put the main entrance on Liberty Road -- Route 26. Residents would have approved of that. But the State Highway Administration would not allow an additional stoplight there because of plans to widen Route 26 between routes 32 and 97.

The homeowners association had threatened to seek injunctions to block the construction of the school unless county officials came up with a safer entrance than the proposed one on Linton Road, opposite Ronsdale Road.

County and school officials also had been concerned with safety, but they had argued that they could solve the problem later.

"Now is the time to get these things straightened out, while they're still lines on paper," Marsh said.

"It's not that we don't want this school built -- we want this school built yesterday. But we want it developed so it works 20 years from now."

Pub Date: 8/14/96

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