Letter: Better to take property-by-property approach in making zoning requests

LETTERS

November 15, 2011

Since 1989, the Hereford Community Association has been the principal voice to county government officials for the residents and businesses of the Village of Hereford and the surrounding areas on development, safety and welfare issues. Association members were instrumental in the development of the Hereford Plan, which was incorporated into the Baltimore County's Master Plan in 1991.

We are now in the beginning of the 2012 CZMP. Our association supports the efforts to maintain open rural spaces and not high density home track development.

We have a policy not to initiate any zoning change requests to properties within our jursidiction. Our policy is to evaluate and make recommendations on zoning changes and the development of properties requested by property owners on a property by property basis.

We believe using contiguous properties to request mass downzoning is poor public policy. Its use is rightfully resented by property owners. In this cycle of the CZMP, Sparks-Glencoe, has used the procedure of contiguous properties and has submitted three requests for the downzoning of 1,013 acres of land from RC 4 to RC 7.

This affects more than 385 properties to the north and south of Hereford. Of these properties, only about 10 are big enough to be considered a candidate for development. Most of this acreage is in either in residences with small acreage, or agricultural use or open space. No owners have submitted a request for a change in zoning. Nor at this time has any indicated support of the Sparks-Glencoe requests.

RC 4 is primarily an agricultural category and, with approval of development, allows one house per five acres. In the current environment, development of such land is not economically feasible.

This use of this procedure causes an atmosphere of hatred and distrust of owners of more than 370 properties caught in the middle.

Also, as each property owner affected must be notified by the County Planning Office, this places an unnecessary burden on its staff. The Hereford Community Association does not endorse this method used by Sparks-Glencoe and asks that they retract their requests so that civility and common sense may prevail.

Paul Cummins, president

Hereford Community Association

Monkton

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