Citizens group appeals decision to rezone 145-acre Rash farm

November 02, 1999|By John Murphy | John Murphy,SUN STAFF

A Freedom-area citizens group and a Sykesville resident have filed a joint appeal of the county's decision to rezone 145 acres of South Carroll farmland, Carroll's largest rezoning in nearly 30 years.

In a two-page petition filed in Carroll County Circuit Court yesterday, the Freedom Area Citizens' Council and Douglas M. Ilioff of Sykesville asked the court to review the county commissioners' rezoning of the Rash family farm from agriculture to residential use. The Rash family plans to develop a 50-home golf course community on the property.

Opponents fear the rezoning will undermine the county's agricultural preservation program and lead to unbridled development in South Carroll. Ilioff and Nimrod Davis, acting chair of the Freedom Area group, voiced their objections to the rezoning during a public hearing in July.

In August, Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier voted in favor of the Rash brothers, saying the brothers had proved a change in the character of their neighborhood and a mistake in the zoning, the two standards for rezoning.

Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge voted against the request, arguing the Rashes failed on both criteria. The changes in the neighborhood, including the increase in traffic and population, were anticipated in the county's master plan, she said. No mistake was made in zoning, she said. The Rash property was zoned for agriculture in 1965, and again in 1978.

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