Harford planning director resigns


William G. Carroll, Harford County planning director for two consecutive administrations, announced Wednesday that he will leave his post after eight years for a position with the Maryland Office of Planning in Baltimore.

"That makes two terms, and that's enough for me," he said after the election last week.

Mr. Carroll said he had wanted to wait until after the election to announce his resignation to his staff. He said he would leave this month.

Mr. Carroll supervised the Department of Planning and Zoning through much of the county's skyrocketing growth in the mid- to late 1980s and during the subsequent downturn in the economy.

"It's been very interesting, and I've stayed longer than any other planning director, but I'm looking forward to moving on now," he said.

Mr. Carroll was named chief of comprehensive planning in 1985 by then-County Executive Habern W. Freeman. A year later he was appointed director of planning.

He was one of five administrators in the Freeman administration to be reappointed by the new county executive, Eileen Rehrmann, in 1990. She was elected Tuesday to a second term.

The number of new building permits in the county, an indicator of residential growth, hit an all-time high during Mr. Carroll's tenure: 3,000 were issued in 1985-1986. Since then, the number has declined gradually to fewer than 1,500 annually, he said.

While the county population grew during his term, so did the cry for managed growth and planned development.

"We've seen the real unfolding of the concept of the development envelope," he said, referring to the T-shaped area defined by Route 24 and U.S. 40 that contains the concentration of the county's growth.

In 1988, major revisions were made to the land-use plan, which sets policy for future growth. And in 1989, the county underwent comprehensive rezoning.

In his new post, which he will assume next month, Mr. Carroll will be chief of the local review unit. The State Planning Act requires local jurisdictions to conform to a uniform state vision for land use.

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