County rejects land proposal for park

Commissioners turn down plan to sell protected preservation parcel in New Windsor


The Carroll County commissioners have turned down a plan to build a park in New Windsor on a parcel of land protected under Carroll County's Agricultural Land Preservation Program.

The commissioners said that allowing one owner to sell land that is under preservation would undermine the program.

"If we had the opportunity to get the land before it went into preservation, that would be great," Commissioner Dean L. Minnich said. "But now it would send the wrong message. We need to find a plot that's somewhere else and leave this piece alone."

Late last year, resident Granville Hibberd offered to remove up to 70 acres under the easement on his New Windsor property to build the park.

But the county had already approved a preservation easement on Hibberd's property, which is near New Windsor Middle School.

To protect farmland and related industries, county officials developed a voluntary land preservation program. By the end of this year, the county expects Carroll County landowners to have placed 50,000 acres in the preservation program.

Despite the need for multipurpose recreational fields, Brad Rockwood, president of the West Carroll Recreation Council, said that he understood the commissioners' decision.

"The commissioners are committed to finding parkland in our area," Rockwood said. "It's just a matter of time."

The commissioners have proposed $1 million for acquiring land for a park in western Carroll County in fiscal year 2007, which begins July 1.

Leister Park in Hampstead and Krimgold Park in Woodbine, which are being built, serve as examples for how the county would like to obtain land for a western Carroll park, said Jeff R. Degitz, director of the Department of Recreation and Parks.

County officials are looking for a 70- to 100-acre parcel of land in the New Windsor or Union Bridge areas.

Anyone interested in offering land should contact the Department of Recreation and Parks at 410-386-2102.

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