Residents voice fear of development

Suggestions on limiting sprawl aired at meeting on comprehensive plan

April 11, 2001|By Jamie Manfuso | Jamie Manfuso,SUN STAFF

Mike Jones moved to a 3-acre farm near Hampstead nine years ago so his children could experience a rural lifestyle. But with shopping plazas, warehouses and subdivisions sprouting up around Hampstead, he worries this lifestyle might be in jeopardy.

"As a Wal-Mart goes in, as the place grows bigger, we're losing that [rural] atmosphere," said Jones, who moved to North Carroll from Arbutus.

"We're losing that ability to know people in the area."

Jones was among nearly 20 Hampstead-area residents who attended a workshop Monday night to discuss proposals for the town's comprehensive community plan. The meeting was the fourth such workshop.

County planners are asking residents to rank their interest in a variety of proposals, such as eliminating billboards in and on the road into Hampstead, and creating a greenbelt area between it and Manchester to keep the towns from blending into one.

The county's planning process for Hampstead and surrounding areas, which began in fall 1998, seeks to develop guides for growth in and around Hampstead.

Jones' concerns - expanded boundaries for the town's growth, the potential benefits and problems associated with the proposed Route 30 bypass, the revitalization of downtown Hampstead, and the addition of trails and parks - were shared by several other residents.

Jones said he liked the idea of bringing parks and trails to the area, amenities that are scarce in Carroll County.

"I go to Baltimore County all the time to take advantage of that stuff," said Jones, who frequents Oregon Ridge Park and North Central Railroad Trail in northern Baltimore County.

Hampstead residents and business owners will have a chance to review and comment on proposed planning maps at 7 p.m. April 26 at Shiloh Middle School in Hampstead.

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