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Hampstead passes bills aimed at slowing growth


Two more ordinances designed to slow growth in Hampstead entered the town code at last night's Town Council meeting, joining two others approved earlier this month.

One ordinance approved last night opens wide the criteria for who may appeal zoning decisions to the appeals board: any Hampstead taxpayer may do so now.

The law had required a person to be an aggrieved party, and decisions by the appeals board had interpreted that to mean the party must be more aggrieved than the general public. That interpretation quashed an appeal of additional building at North Carroll Farms, led by Stephen A. Holland and several neighbors in that development before his election as councilman in May.

The vote yesterday was 4-0, with Councilwoman Jacqueline Hyatt absent due to a death in her family.

The other ordinance, also approved 4-0, makes developers provide water sources that meet federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Developers already must provide sources of water, but the law didn't specify minimum standards, said Councilman Lawrence H. Hentz.

"That's always been the policy of the town anyhow," said Steven Walton, developer and contract purchaser for 289 homes planned for Westwood Park, who wants builders to be able to treat wells that don't pass.

Planning and Zoning Commission members Arthur H. Moler and William Drummond voted against recommending both ordinances at their meeting Monday. Mr. Moler said they are unnecessary and a ploy by the newly elected majority to stop developments planned at North Carroll Farms and Westwood Park.

The two clashed with the councilmen proposing these changes even before the elections last month. The new council is investigating Mr. Moler and Mr. Drummond for neglect of duty, saying they should have been more strict with developers. Newly elected Mayor Christopher Nevin had asked the two men to resign, but both refused.

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