The overview of the Plan Howard 2030 General Plan states: "The purpose is to articulate policies and actions to move us to further sustainability while enhancing the quality of life."
The question is: What is Howard County's true vision? I ask because as comprehensive rezoning has taken place to date, it appears the vision is to merely grow, grow, and develop, regardless of inadequate infrastructure. Refer to Section 8 of Plan Howard 2030 — "Public Facilities and Services" as infrastructure comprises not only roads and schools, but other categories such as transportation, police, fire, health services, water and sewer, solid waste, etc. The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance should be expanded to include all these categories to achieve accountability.
Just look at some of the proposals approved by the Department of Zoning: Maple Lawn in Fulton with over 1,200 apartment units (Howard County Times, April 11), Route 1 in North Laurel, Savage, Cooksville, and Elkridge, etc. These comprehensive rezoning proposals, plus the immense amount of in-fill construction and the ongoing proposed developments, clearly depict our county's vision is all about "cents" vs. "sense." North Laurel is facing an increase of over 6,000 additional residents. If the additional development in Maple Lawn is approved, combined with the ongoing and future developments in North Laurel, this will total an additional 10,000 new residents in the southeast corridor.
How can our quality of life be enhanced with the absence of adequate infrastructure? Will common sense prevail or does our leadership really care? Does Plan Howard 2030 really mean anything or was it just an exercise in futility?
Stuart M. Kohn
North LaurelCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun