Carroll estimates it has 33,000 lots for home building

April 20, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Carroll County planners have completed a land inventory that conservatively estimates more than 33,000 lots are available for home construction. Were they built, that many homes could add 100,000 residents to the nearly 170,000 residing in the county. It also could mean 33,000 more school-age children.

"That's about 22 more schools, and an estimated three cars per family on the roads," Commissioner Dean L. Minnich said yesterday.

As a planning tool, the state is requiring each jurisdiction to tally the number and location of empty residential lots. The survey cannot predict how quickly the lots would develop, but it is precise enough to help make decisions on land use, said Brenda Dinne, Carroll's chief of comprehensive planning.

"It will happen before we are ready," Minnich said. "If we don't do the next few years right, we are going to get nibbled to death by goldfish in terms of adequate facilities and government costs."

"It is difficult to nail down numbers because of current zoning laws, development patterns and future land annexations," said Steven Horn, county director of planning. "This inventory is strictly a planning tool with so many variables that there cannot be exact numbers."

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