A recommendation to halve the number of lots developers can record in a year is not intended to make their life difficult, Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission members said yesterday.
The recommendation, which would limit developers to recording 50 lots per year rather than 25 per quarter, aims to help county services keep pace with development, they said.
"This is not intended to cause any loss to the owners of subdivisions," said commission member Dennis Bowman. "We don't think that it will affect that many people or that many developers.
"For plans that are already in the pipeline, it is our opinion to take a very liberal view of plans that it would affect adversely."
Although commission member David Duree supported the limit, he said county officials must find other ways to control growth.
"This is a stop-gap measure," Mr. Duree said. "Progress needs to be made in providing adequate facilities. It is in the public's best interests that they are served this way rather than through artificial measures."
The Carroll Board of County Commissioners is expected to vote on the recommendation shortly, said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy.
"I'm in favor of it, particularly now that we are hard-pressed to provide the necessary facilities," Mr. Lippy said, noting that he and Commissioner Julia W. Gouge will be discussing the issue in a future cable television program.
"I want to see that sufficient services are provided in advance of any proposed development," he said. "We aren't at war with builders and developers, but we have very few weapons to fight excessive building and growth."
Based on earlier remarks, Commissioner Gouge is expected to support the limit.
"This is something everyone can live with," said Commissioner Donald I. Dell.
Mr. Dell noted that developers had originally asked for the recording limits to be lifted entirely. They had argued that to complete a 100-lot subdivision, they were forced to go through the county review process four times, which they considered a waste of time and money.
But county school officials and emergency services representatives expressed concern that lifting all controls would not allow them to keep up with growth.
"The 50 lots will allow them to do two 25-lot sections at one time and cut the process in half," he said. "That is beneficial to them and still allows the county to have some control over the number of approvals."