A simple solution to Gouge's worries In response to the...


November 18, 2001

A simple solution to Gouge's worries

In response to the letter to the editor ("County Zoning Plan's future is cause for worry," Nov. 11), from Commissioner Julia Gouge, there are clearly some facts Mrs. Gouge seemed to overlook. There are currently 191,000 acres of agriculturally zoned land in Carroll County and 54,000 acres of conservation zone land (of which 12,000 acres are currently governmentally owned).

Under the county's current subdivision regulations and zoning ordinance, including recent amendments, 95 percent, or 181,450 of the agricultural acres, are non-buildable. The conservation zone, if fully clustered under the new ordinance, would yield, at most, 14,000 lots on a total of 14,000 acres.

If all these conservation lots were taken out of agricultural zoned land we would still have over 177,000 agricultural acres permanently preserved and, of course, 54,000 acres of conservation permanently preserved as non-buildable. This would yield a total of 231,000 acres of non-buildable preserved land, all without the expenditure of one dollar of taxpayer money. This is 106,000 acres more than Mrs. Gouge states is needed in her letter of November 11, 2001.

Mrs. Gouge, like most tax-and-spend liberals, just can't stand a solution that works without the need to spend taxpayer money. Why is it that she would prefer to have the taxpayers buy non-buildable easements from landowners when landowners are willing to voluntarily restrict 231,000 of their acres from any future development? Who is Mrs. Gouge really working for - the taxpayers of Carroll County or Mr. Glendening?

June Huey


Gouge's implication of wrongdoing is wrong

The letter "County Zoning Plan's future is cause for worry," in The Sun In Carroll County on Sunday, Nov. 11, by Commissioner Julia W. Gouge, regarding the recently adopted change in the clustering provision of the zoning ordinance, is disturbing to me.

I do not write to debate the merits or negatives of the ordinance, but to defend the process by which it was adopted.

Her letter suggests that the details of the transfer of lots across contiguous Agriculture and Conservation zones were not presented in a manner which made the intent clear and that the County Planning Department was somehow unaware of the recommendation proposed by the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee.

As chairman of the County Planning and Zoning Commission, I was present at the monthly Commission meeting on July 17, 2001 when the proposed changes were referred to that body by the County Commissioners for a review and recommendation. Mr. Steve Horn, Director of Planning, reviewed the proposed changes for us. The chairman of the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee was present to answer any questions. The Planning Commission voted unanimously for a favorable recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.

Subsequent to a distribution of copies of the proposal for public and official review and comment, a public hearing was conducted by the County Commissioners, with Commissioner Gouge present and officiating. There were a number of citizens present. Mr. Hillman, chairman of the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee, presented the proposed change, which I feel was clear and concise. I do not recall Commissioner Gouge asking for any clarification of the intent or meaning of the proposal.

It puzzles me as to why Commissioner Gouge would at this time, two months after adoption of the ordinance, imply that something was unclear or concealed in the wording of the ordinance or the process by which it was adopted.

This is a disservice to those citizens who serve when asked on various committees for the county.

Edward M. Beard


Frazier, Dell protect property rights of rich

Much has been reported on in recent weeks about an amendment to the Carroll County Zoning Ordinance, one that is far more controversial than usual. Why should the average citizen concern themselves with this technical revision?[The] results are clear, even if the language used by [the Zoning Ordinance Review Committee (ZORC) which drafted this amendment] is not. The ZORC Amendment creates as many as 33 new lots in areas where only six might have previously existed. The area where the amendment creates the lots is entirely outside of municipal and county infrastructure, which is to say they are not to be served by public water and sewer.

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