The County Commissioners put the final touches yesterday on a growth-control measure that would limit residential development to 1,000 units a year.
The bill, which is intended to direct growth to areas where schools, roads and public services are adequate, was altered slightly during a three-hour work session attended by developers, attorneys, municipal officials and representatives of the Carroll Economic Development Commission.
The commissioners plan to enact the revised measure at 8: 30 a.m. Tuesday.
Commissioners W. Benjamin Brown and Richard T. Yates agreed to two changes proposed by Commissioner Donald I. Dell. They rejected several others.
The commissioners agreed to add language that would make it clear that residential growth is contingent on the county's ability to provide adequate facilities and services.
Brown and Yates agreed with Dell's proposal to have the county Board of Zoning Appeals hear developer appeals of growth-limiting decisions, rather than a review panel appointed by the commissioners.
The pair balked, however, at two other suggestions by Dell, including one that would have allowed development stopped by a lack of adequate facilities to go forward if, after three years, the deficiencies had not been remedied.
Developer Richard L. Hull, president of Carroll Land Services Inc., told the commissioners that stopping growth indefinitely for lack of adequate facilities would lead to lawsuits and "continue the fog of the last two years."
Hull was referring to interim growth-control measures imposed by the commissioners and decisions by the Planning Commission that have left developers in a quandary.
Unless it is clear to developers that their plans will be allowed to move forward after being held up for "two-, three- or four-year time period," Hull said, "no one is going to jump into the process."
Without such a clause, Carroll might not achieve the 950-lot-per year development target the county budget office predicts must be achieved to fund infrastructure, Hull said.
Brown disagreed, saying, "I don't think you ever give Carroll County government any credit for intelligence in this matter."
He said the bill is designed to manage growth, not stop it, and the commissioners would evaluate the situation annually, allowing growth to go forward where and when appropriate.
Dell also lost out on his proposal to exempt so-called minor subdivisions -- those of three lots or fewer -- from the adequate facilities provisions of the bill.
Instead, Brown and Yates chose to limit minor subdivision exemptions to agriculturally zoned property, which allows one dwelling unit per 3 acres.
Dell said he "felt good" that his proposals received a hearing and were acted upon.
Pub Date: 2/13/98