Water permits would foster further sprawl The Finksburg...

LETTERS

June 18, 2000

Water permits would foster further sprawl

The Finksburg Planning Area Council Inc. is very concerned with recent reports regarding a water appropriation permit for a production well that the Carroll County Board of Commissioners is seeking from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) ("Water pressure rising," editorial, June 13).

We are entirely sympathetic to the water demands of our neighbors in Eldersburg and the Freedom area of Carroll County, knowing that they have tolerated annual water shortages for several years that were caused by the unconstrained growth policies by this and previous boards of commissioners.

We are hopeful that a long-term solution will be found to alleviate those shortages for existing residences and businesses.

That said, the council is hopeful that the officials at MDE approach any application for a permit for wells in south Carroll County with extreme caution.

It appears to us that Carroll County government commissioned the exploration and expense of the new wells before discussing the water appropriation and intended use with the authorizing agency.

We do not want to see the county's board of commissioners allocate water reserves that would enable them to spur inappropriate development in areas such as Finksburg or Woodbine through the extension of public water lines.

Over the past two years, the commissioners have not indicated any desire to employ growth management strategies or follow the state's policy of Smart Growth.

To the contrary, we have seen indications that the county would prefer to defy state planning policy.

And the commissioners' recent advertisement, seeking wholesale rezonings in the county that are separate from the comprehensive plan process, is further evidence that extreme caution should be exercised when providing the county government any additional permission for its plans.

We are also concerned that Carroll County government not win unrestricted appropriation permits from the state or withdrawal allocations from the Liberty Reservoir from Baltimore City, because this would spur additional sprawl in the county.

The 1999 decision by this board of commissioners to rezone the Rash property in Woodbine and the continued efforts of their Department of Economic Development to rezone land in and near Finksburg have raised alarms over the commissioners' desire both to fully develop the new production wells and increase their daily allotted withdrawal from Liberty Reservoir.

We fail to see the necessity of appropriating water from the South Carroll wellhead when it has been reported that Baltimore City has offered to increase the county's withdrawal from Liberty Reservoir, as long as the Carroll Commissioners reaffirm their commitment to the multi-signatory Watershed Protection Agreement.

We hope that the MDE will consider the availability of this significant reservoir water withdrawal in any appropriation permit.

We believe that there should be adequate water resources to sustain the existing residences and businesses in South Carroll County, many of which have been permitted by the commissioners, despite an awareness that inadequate water reserves existed prior to their approvals.

But we petition the officials at MDE to limit the amounts of water in any appropriation permit to an amount that will not exceed existing demands.

To appropriate the full capacity of the well may only license this board of commissioners to extend public water service into areas that are otherwise unsupported by the necessary infrastructure.

Donald Hoffman

Finksburg

The writer is president of the Finksburg Planning Area Council Inc.

Death penalty cartoon insulted reader, family

Mike Lane's June 9 editorial cartoon deserves to be nominated as among the most offensive and utterly insensitive items ever seen published in The Sun.

Would Mr. Lane be as quick to use the most superficial and offensive stereotypes imaginable to portray other significant issues?

I can only imagine what concepts he might then develop, and the outcry.

How might Mr. Lane portray those receiving public assistance or subsidized housing, for example?

Could depictions of such people that were similar to Mr. Lane's depictions of supporters of capital punishment ever see the light of day in The Sun?

I am not without a sense of humor or an appreciation of irony, and understand that editorial cartoonists necessarily must simplify and exaggerate to make their point.

But my views on capital punishment come from significant reflection on the ethical and philosophical issues involved. They certainly did not come from a beer cooler.

And I do not view the tragic commutation of Eugene Colvin-el's death sentence as either a spectator sport or a cause for celebration.

I wonder if Mr. Lane has received any feedback from the family members of capital crime victims, who may be waiting for a death sentence to establish some measure of justice for their loss.

If I am this disturbed by Mr. Lane's bigotry, I wonder how they must feel.

Dean Horvath

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