Mediator's help to be sought in policy debate about ATVs

December 01, 2004|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County commissioners plan to bring in an outside facilitator to help a new committee devise an ordinance aimed at reducing noise and dust from ATVs.

The nine-member committee named yesterday includes three residents who favor a noise ordinance and zoning text amendments, three who would oppose or modify them, and three county officials.

About 800 county residents attended a series of five workshops held in September and October, designed as informational meetings to discuss the implications of a draft ordinance the county staff had devised. Fans of all-terrain vehicles generally dominated the sessions.

The committee is to review written comments and consider the rights of property owners - whether to ride on their land or to enjoy peace and quiet on their decks. The committee then would recommend to the commissioners a way of protecting both.

"We have a good mix of people from throughout the county," said Commissioner Perry L. Jones Jr., "some of the more reasonable people on both sides of the fence who are willing to sit down and try to come up with an agreement."

Steven D. Powell, the commissioners' chief of staff, said a trained mediator would be brought in to "serve as a moderator for the process."

Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge agreed. "We need somebody totally neutral," she said.

In other business yesterday, the commissioners approved the expenditures of an estimated $30,000 for emergency welding repairs to strengthen the Bollinger Road bridge over Beaver Run, and of about $40,000 to update a 1995-1996 design for additional space at the Northern Landfill that will soon be needed.

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