Carroll Digest

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

October 13, 2004

Board of Elections inundated with new voter applications

The Carroll County Board of Elections was inundated yesterday with voter registration applications. By midafternoon on the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 2 presidential election, more than 300 new voters had registered, election officials said.

"We have been extraordinarily busy, and we expect the numbers to pick up tonight," said Patricia K. Matsko, election board director.

The board office in Westminster remained open until 9 p.m. yesterday. Voters also could register at all five county public library branches last night.

Because of the last-minute increase in registrations, the elections staff will not know the exact number of voters until tomorrow, Matsko said.

More discussions set on anti-noise ordinance

The county's proposed ATV anti-noise ordinance, the subject of five workshops throughout the area, is generating comment on both sides of the issue, officials said. Nearly 400 people have attended the first two sessions in Westminster and Hampstead.

The commissioners and their staff are reviewing comments and considering several revisions, including the establishment of an arbitration board and a minimum-acreage requirement.

Several all-terrain vehicle users met with the commissioners yesterday to again voice their opposition to the proposal, which they said would restrict use of the vehicles. David P. Resch of Westminster said he sees the proposal as an erosion of rights and urged the commissioners to compromise.

"The ordinance does not take reason into account," Resch said. "The pendulum has swung so far that you could outlaw ATVs."

Commissioner Dean L. Minnich said he is listening to both sides, hoping to find "something reasonable that will allow people to enjoy their property." He stressed that the proposal "is not a done deal."

The workshops, which are an opportunity to question staff, begin at 7 p.m. The next one is Monday at Mount Airy Senior Center, 703 Ridge Ave. It will be followed by a workshop Oct. 20 at Oklahoma Road Middle School, 6300 Oklahoma Road, Eldersburg; and another Oct. 27 at Runnymede Elementary School, 3000 Langdon Drive, Taneytown.

Information: 410-386-2043.

Board weighing comments on county landscape rules

The county commissioners will keep the record open for 10 days after a public hearing yesterday on proposed amendments to the county landscape manual. The board will consider further comment before voting on the proposal.

The proposed requirements, which would apply to all new development, include specific plantings for storm-water management ponds, landfills, communication towers and parking lots. The manual specifies types and size of trees and other plants for new developments.

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