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Letter: Columnist overestimating students brought by new homes

While reading Mr. Minnich's column titled "Move Students Not Classrooms" I noticed two glaring errors in Mr. Minnich's assumptions. The first error is the assumption that 2.4 students per household will be created by the new development on Old Westminster Pike in Westminster. Although I do not have access to the form that shows the historical data for estimating how many students per household that the Carroll County Board of Education uses I do have access to the form that Baltimore County utilizes for its 15 districts. To be safe the district that has the highest amount of students per household for a single family house will be utilized. The 14th district of Baltimore County estimates that each household will create .372 elementary school students, .136 middle school students and, .145 high school students for a total of 0.653 students per household. There are 300 homes in the subdivision. Multiply 300 homes by 0.653 students for a total of 196 students, not 720 as Mr. Minnich asserts. The 2000 and 2010 census figures support my claim based upon average household and family size in Carroll County. From 2010 to 2016 the population increased by 521 people in Carroll County.

The second error that Mr. Minnich made is the assumption that the subdivision will be built out in three years. The City of Westminster only allows 40 building permits to be issued per year per subdivision. This means that in the best of circumstances (no water moratorium, bad economy, etc.) that the project will have a seven- to eight-year build out. Not three years as Mr. Minnich asserts. If the project were located outside of city limits in Carroll County the build out would be 12 years because only 25 building permits per year can be issued which was enacted while Mr. Minnich was commissioner.

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Although I empathize with both parties, the town and the commissioners, regarding the dispute regarding North Carroll I find it ironic that Mr. Minnich wants to defend his bad decision in authorizing and funding the construction of Manchester Valley High School be continually demonizing the home building industry. Like a wise man said, if you don't like builders go live in tents.

Richard Williams

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Westminster

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