Fishing for Industry Or Time to Cut Bait?
In a June 20 editorial, The Sun said that David Moxley's request to rezone 32 acres in Sykesville from industrial to residential is a bad idea.
Obviously, you are entitled to your opinion. It is interesting that you are able to formulate your opinion prior to any public hearings and at a time in the process before the owner has presented his factual case to the town of Sykesville. That said, let us examine the basis for your opinion.
At first glance, your editorial makes some sense. Everyone agrees that governments need industrial and commercial development to provide a balanced tax base. The question in this case, however, is whether this particular property is the place to require industrial and commercial development. The evidence strongly suggests that it is not.
First, the owner has made diligent and good faith efforts at great cost to market the property without success. Even with "subsidized financing" in place, absolutely no one expressed serious interest in this property for industrial or commercial uses. In fact, Mr. Moxley has been marketing the property since 1977, not just during the recent recession as you indicated in your editorial.
Second, the property is not well suited for commercial use. The only land use factor suggesting commercial suitability here is traffic access. All other criteria indicate the contrary. For instance, the topography of the site (rolling with wetlands and stream areas) makes it virtually undevelopable for industrial and commercial purposes under current environmental regulations. These same factors could with the right planning be amenities in a residential development. The site's location adjacent to the new county park also suggests that heavy industrial smokestack development (as is allowed by current zoning) should not occur at this site.
Also, contrary to the assertion in your editorial, the location of large tracts of state-owned land nearby does not preclude annexation for industrial or commercial development. Indeed, with the current uncertainty over the future of Springfield Hospital, it is suggested that it would be wise for Sykesville to work with the county and the state to see if any of these more suitable tracts could be used for industrial and commercial purposes.
In short, Mr. Moxley is not against commercial or industrial development. Indeed, he has given it his best shot. However, he does not want to be forced into land banking and paying the carrying costs on a 32-acre parcel based on someone's mistaken belief that, at some unknown time in the future, it hopefully will be developed for industrial or commercial uses. This is a fallacy.
Clark R. Shaffer
The writer is an attorney representing Mr. Moxley in the case.
Blair's House Candidacy
Recently we had the opportunity to attend a fund-raiser for David Blair, a Republican candidate for the new seat for District 5 in the House of Delegates. While we have not attended a lot of political events, we have attended some and found Mr. Blair's to be one of the best around. There wasn't a lot of political hot air, just a short speech from the candidate setting forth his vision of a safer, more prosperous Maryland in a positive way. So refreshing to see a man running for office without tearing down everyone else.
Also nice to note was that the program for Blair's event was mostly a magic show appropriate for people of all ages. Blair made a real effort to promote this as an event for the entire family, something unusual in a politician. . . . The new District 5 needs a new man, unafraid to handle the big jobs and use new ideas to help Maryland. Dave Blair . . . has our vote.
Bob and Kathy Bartlett
County GOP Minus Gouge
Since I was out of town and unable to respond . . . to Julia Gouge's announcement, I would like to do so at this time. Ms. Gouge was one of many excellent Republican candidates for the House of Delegates but remaining are many who will surely provide excellent leadership as she would have offered.
The conservative credibility of Republicans remaining is in stark contrast to the liberal agenda of the Democrats. To have a Democrat insinuate that credibility is only with one person, who is a known liberal for activities on behalf of Clinton/Hattery, is to disguise the truth.
We Republicans look forward to this election to present a discussion of the issues and to reinforce the real credibility of our candidates, not those of liberals and closet liberals.
Thomas W. Bowen
The writer is chairman of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.