Neighbors oppose Westminster family's rezoning bid CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg


Neighbors of a Westminster family yesterday opposed the family's request to rezone a 12.5-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Routes 32 and 97 from agriculture to general business.

The residents objected to the zoning change because commercial development of the site, adjacent to the Carroll County YMCA, would mean more traffic on Route 32.

"I can sit in my driveway now and wait for 25 cars to pass before I can get out," said Eva Owings, among several residents who attended a public hearing before the county commissioners.

The commissioners didn't decide on the rezoning request from DCRT Partnership of Westminster because Commissioner Julia W. Gouge was absent. The board is expected to decide within two weeks.

The county Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended against the rezoning. The City of Westminster also has opposed the request because the tract is outside the city's planned water and sewer service area. No boundary extension is planned.

Ron Kyker of Westminster, one of the family members in the partnership, said DCRT Partnership has no development plans for the site. It is leased to a farmer and does not have any contracts pending that would generate development, he said.

Clark Shaffer, a Westminster attorney who represents the family, contended that the site's original zoning was a mistake; the Route 32 corridor west of the site is zoned conservation and residential.

Mr. Shaffer said there have been substantial changes in the neighborhood since the site was zoned in 1978. He noted several non-conforming business and other uses along Route 32.

However, county officials said the nonconforming businesses existed before any zoning. Some operations, such as a medical center, are permitted as conditional uses, said Bobbi Moser, a county comprehensive planner.

Ms. Moser said general business is inconsistent with existing land use and the county's master plan, which calls for the surrounding area to be agricultural.

No commercial activity exists near the site, planners said.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad