Officials to hold public workshop on Westminster-area growth plan

Objectives include park, Route 140 improvements

August 03, 1999|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

Carroll County planners will hold the third in a series of community workshops tonight to design a plan for growth in the area that surrounds Westminster.

The meeting for developing the Westminster Environs Community Comprehensive Plan will begin at 7 p.m. in the Westminster High School cafeteria, 1225 Washington Road.

"Residents and business owners are invited to attend," said Barbara C. Moser, a comprehensive planner for the county. "It's their opportunity to review the goals we've drafted based on the comments made at previous meetings."

The plan is expected to take about two years to complete and must be adopted by the county commissioners before it can be implemented.

The Westminster environs encompasses about 28,233 acres around the city limits.

About 16,700 people live in the area -- slightly more than the city's 15,900.

In addition to the previous two workshops, which were held in May and June, county planners mailed nearly 5,700 surveys to property owners in the unincorporated area, Moser said. The county received almost 1,400 responses.

"We're analyzing the results of the survey," said Moser. "Based on those results, things like the vision and the goals that we have in draft form now -- they may change."

Among the objectives outlined are the need for improvements to Route 140; more park facilities, pedestrian paths and bike trails; and an increase in the number of sites reserved for industrial development.

Almost 14 years have passed since the Westminster environs plan was developed in 1985. The state's 1992 Planning Act and 1996 Smart Growth legislation require an update.

Westminster updated its comprehensive plan last year. Similar plans will be developed for Hampstead and Finksburg, Moser said. These plans provide more detail than Carroll's master plan, which was drafted in 1977 and is being reviewed by the county commissioners.

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