Carroll commissioners review state growth-control report They decry lack of time to study document


The Carroll County Commissioners complained yesterday that they have not been given enough time to study far-ranging growth-control proposals contained in a 100-page report compiled by the state planning office.

Philip J. Rovang, the county planning director, said he expects that some of the recommendations designed to prevent urban sprawl will become the policy of Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

The governor's office and five state departments will review about 100 recommendations from civic groups, business organizations, local governments, state agencies and individual citizens this month and decide which to support, change or drop.

Among the most controversial are proposals to incorporate communities with more than 1,000 residents and to push counties with commissioner governments to adopt home rule. Rovang said the governor is expected to announce in mid-October an administrative and legislative package.

"It's been quite frustrating," Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown said. "There are some gems of some good ideas in the report, but they got lost in the rush to make it appear that the state is not dictating to the local governments.

"The discussions that ought to take place won't take place. All of us -- even the most pro-growth -- don't want to do anything that would seriously hurt the environment. Yet we all have to sit down and within five days, have to vote up or down, yes or no."

Some of the items in the "Neighborhood Conservation and Smart Growth" report "may become recommendations of the governor, but they are not yet that at all," said Judi Scioli, Glendening's press secretary. "What the governor is interested in," she said, "is hearing from the localities."

Accordingly, the commissioners directed Rovang to underscore proposals they find attractive -- and those that concern them -- when passing along their comments to Ronald Young, deputy director of the Maryland Office of Planning.

Among the recommendations that drew unfavorable responses from Carroll's three commissioners are those that would:

Restrict state funding of transportation projects to developed areas or areas designated for development so as to discourage long-distance car commuting.

Require a state-approved economic impact study if a bypass is to receive state funding.

Reconfigure the state school busing formula to discourage rural subdivision development.

Encourage neighborhoods with like concerns to incorporate as municipalities.

End the General Assembly practice of passing local laws in order to foster charter government or some other form of home rule.

Pub Date: 9/10/96

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