Carroll Letters

LETTERS

May 12, 2002

Holt lauds enthusiasm of Mount Airy voters

This election has been exciting. Congratulations to Chris DeColli and John Medve. The voters of Mount Airy have shown a strong desire for a new direction. The most recent election campaign energized the people, stimulated thinking, debate and involvement, culminating in record turnout at the polls. The Town Council is already looking at extending the partial moratorium on building permits an additional six months. My hope is that they also take into consideration water availability and supply and look into broadening its scope to include housing and facilities that are presently exempt from the moratorium.

I will take this opportunity to express my appreciation and thank the many people who took the time to get to know me, those who worked with me, voted for me and supported my campaign. I am thrilled that we remained focused in a positive way and came so far in a mere two months time. A special thanks to Pat Rockinberg for the signs and fliers and countless hours of contribution to the campaign. The news media deserves recognition for the thorough and fine coverage of the entire election process, start to finish, and then some.

Let us pull together and stay focused. I'm certain that the new Town Council will appreciate our input and involvement.

I learned of a voters' appeal that is in the works. While I have announced that I will not appeal the Board's decision, if the appeal were to meet with success, I would gladly serve the citizens of Mount Airy. Again, I sincerely appreciate the enthusiasm and support of so many people.

James S. Holt

Mount Airy

Work to solve issues about county's growth

In 1996 as per zoning acreage in Carroll County, there were 64,524 lots (Households). In the 2000 census there were 52,503 Households (lots) in Carroll County or approximately 12,021 remaining.

If a 100-acre farm with five lots (Households) is annexed into a Town, the town's zoning laws could change the 100 acres lots into 400 to 600 lots (Households), 1,120 to 1,680 more people, 400 to 600 more cars, 200 to 300 more students.

Concurrency Management has no control over how many building permits the Towns can request. Therefore, if the towns want to have 1,200 permits and the remainder of the County want 400 or 1,600 for that year and schools, roads, etc. are adequate, the permits cannot be denied.

We must locate and know how many and where the remaining lots are to plan for the future. We must know what the towns' plans are for the future. Until we know this, we know nothing and cannot plan for future roads, schools, water, etc. before inadequate and not after.

The Concurrency Management plan was born out of a $50,000 study by Teschler & Associates in 1997. The trouble is the scenario of "No Change Trend" and a 12 percent industrial use were never followed. It said 1,279 permits per year, not 1,000, and said you must increase as per inflation over the years as per years of the plan. We all know we would have a tough time living today on our wages of 20 years ago and so it's true in 20 years into the future.

Am I surprised that we are running over 1,000 permits per year? No! Should anyone that has been reading in the papers about Baltimore City's loss of 260,000 people and the low mortgage rates and the increase of growth in counties surrounding Baltimore? No! Hopefully Baltimore City will not lose 16,000 people as it did last year as this puts pressure on the counties around Baltimore City and the mortgage rate will adjust from its 30-year low.

Are some of the towns and CPA's close to build out? Yes! But if 5 percent or 3,890 acres is farmland and is annexed into Towns, 15,564 to 23,340 more households, 43,579 to 65,352 more people, 15,643 to 23,340 more cars, 7,782 to 11,670 more students.

The growth of Carroll County has not been caused by the people of Carroll County but by people like me who came to Carroll County from other counties or Baltimore City. So I looked for the reason for growth and I found it is I. Therefore I should not blame others, only myself. We must stop blaming others and work to help solve issues, not make issues by blame. This solves nothing!

Ed Wheatley

Sykesville

Member of Carroll County Planning & Zoning Commission

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