Citizens group feels out of loop Organization wants a copy of county's development study

Site near Route 140 eyed

Residents concerned about heavier traffic, impact on services

September 08, 1997|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Members of a Finksburg citizens group have waited three months for the results of a study commissioned by county officials on the economic development potential of property in their community.

But now that the study is complete, Finksburg Planning Area Council organizers say they've been unable to obtain a copy.

David O'Callaghan, president of the council, said he has made repeated attempts over the past three weeks to reach Jack T. Lyburn Jr., county economic development director, to ask him about the study.

"I've put at least 15 phone calls in to him [Lyburn], and have not received a single return call," O'Callaghan said.

He said the lack of response is particularly puzzling because Lyburn told him he would make the study available "as soon as it's done."

"Is it that he's just a busy man and doesn't have time, or is it that he doesn't like the results of the study and is trying to bury it?" O'Callaghan asked.

Lyburn was not available for comment Friday.

The study, commissioned June 5, was to explore the industrial development possibilities of a 530-acre site at Route 140 and Bethel Road.

At the council's June 12 organizational meeting, attended by more than 300 Finksburg residents, Lyburn said the report would be ready within 45 days.

At that time, County Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown said the $20,000 study would be paid for by the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority, which markets industrial property for the county.

Joseph M. Cronyn, a senior associate at Lipman, Frizzell and Mitchell -- the Lutherville firm hired to do the study -- said the report is complete. "I've given my recommendations to the Industrial Development Authority," Cronyn said Friday.

Authority Chairman Dr. Arthur H. Peck said he doesn't know when the study will be made available to the public.

"It has to run through the channels, shall we say," Peck said.

Information needed

Donald Hoffman, vice president of the Finksburg Planning Area Council, said the group is eager to work with county officials to guide growth in Finksburg, but it needs to have the relevant information to do so.

"We would expect it [the study] to be made available to the public in general, since it was paid for with public money," Hoffman said.

"We're not asking for any special privileges," he said.

"The 530 acres is within what is considered Finksburg and its environs, and any development on that site has a significant, significant impact on traffic flow on Route 140," Hoffman said.

He said residents are also concerned about the possibility of extending public water and sewer service to the area.

Finksburg residents decided to form a community action group three months ago in response to reports that the county was moving ahead with development plans for the Route 140 corridor without input from homeowners.

'Viable organization'

During the summer, the group elected officers and has met regularly with county transportation and planning officials in an effort to provide representation for the unincorporated area of Finksburg.

"They've gone out of their way to help us become a viable organization," O'Callaghan said.

Pub Date: 9/08/97

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