County panel backs 'employment campus zone' plan, but Westminster objects


The Carroll government may open areas of the county that lack public water and sewer service to new "employment campus zones" where offices and research laboratories could be built.

The county Planning Commission endorsed the idea at its meeting yesterday. But if the county commissioners approve the idea, it will be over strong objections from the Westminster government.

"You're creating the potential for an intensive industrial use in the middle of nowhere," said Thomas B. Beyard, city planning director, reacting to the commission's action.

Mr. Beyard said businesses in the employment campus might face problems similar to those encountered by the Carroll County YMCA. The Y had well contamination problems and pleaded for city water with in a year of opening its Washington Road building.

Mr. Beyard pointed out that business executives search for properties that provide the services they need.

"You can create half the county as an industrial zone. That doesn't mean it's going to develop with industry" unless services are available, he said.

City Planner Katrina L. Tucker gave the county Planning Commission a letter at yesterday's meeting that detailed the city's objections to locating the employment campus zones in areas that are not served by public water and sewers.

Planning Commission member David Duree responded to the Westminster officials' objections by saying that some areas of the county without water and sewers would be desirable for the developments.

"Where these [employment campuses] are going to come down is where they're zoned to come down," Mr. Duree said.

County Economic Development Director John T. "Jack" Lyburn did not attend the planning commission meeting and did not return a telephone call yesterday asking for a comment.

The county economic development commission recommended in June 1993 that Carroll officials create special employment campus zones. The zoning initially ws suggested in the southwest Carroll master plan, which covers the Mount Airy area.

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