Carroll rezoning denials please Md. officials

State had asked board to reject land-use changes

October 25, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

State planning officials said they were pleasantly surprised that the Carroll commissioners denied a series of rezoning requests Wednesday night at a meeting that many feared would prompt another confrontation between the state and county over land-use issues.

The commissioners voted with state recommendations on 15 of 16 parcels, though they did not acknowledge the state's position when making their decisions. State officials had worried that the 16 rezonings could open about 400 acres of agricultural and conservation land to commercial, industrial and residential development. Many of the properties are in the environmentally sensitive Liberty Reservoir watershed.

"I think that by and large, they did the right thing," said State Secretary of Planning Roy Kienitz, who discouraged the rezonings in an Oct. 8 letter to the commissioners.

"I think we did what we do best, which is shine the bright light on the situation. When decisions are made in the light of day with an understanding of everyone's point of view, that's when the right decisions are made," he said.

Kienitz and other state officials have clashed repeatedly with the commissioners on land-use issues.

The commissioners made the decisions in the context of a comprehensive rezoning that addressed 49 parcels throughout the county.

Though the rezonings have been on the table for about two years or more in some cases, the meeting Wednesday had become central to a movement asking lame-duck Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Robin Bartlett Frazier not to make major policy decisions during their last months in office.

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