Historic preservation plan deferred; Planning panel to act on proposal next month


The Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission decided yesterday after a brief public discussion to defer action on a proposed Historic Preservation Plan.

The plan, which would identify and preserve the county's historic and cultural sites -- including working farmland and scenic vistas -- was presented to the commission for the second time yesterday.

The plan was introduced to the commission last year. A 60-day review period allowed for public comment. The seven-member panel will consider those comments before taking action on the plan next month.

The 167-page preservation plan was developed by county planners last year. It outlines measures that would protect Carroll's natural and cultural resources, minimize residential sprawl and save farmland.

"This is a very, very important document, full of history and information that I'm sure people would like to have," said Grant S. Dannelly, a planning commission member who is an outspoken proponent of the plan.

Commission member Thomas G. Hiltz suggested Carroll planners post the plan on the county's Web site, an idea embraced by Philip J. Rovang, the county's outgoing planning director. Rovang announced his resignation last week.

"It's my feeling that this plan is better written and more comprehensive than other plans in Maryland that have won awards," Rovang said.

The preservation plan outlines the following goals:

Develop county programs that will encourage historic preservation.

Preserve the county's historic assets by recognizing the interrelationship of Carroll's agricultural landscape, scenic roads and vistas, culture and historic archaeology.

Facilitate economic development by encouraging public and private investment in historic properties.

Promote historic preservation through public education.

To achieve these goals, the preservation plan suggests county officials identify and evaluate historic properties and archaeological resources and list those sites that are available to the public.

Proponents of the plan fear it will not be implemented, even if the document is adopted, because the county no longer has a historical preservation planner.

Kenneth Short, who held the position for seven years and was the plan's chief architect, left in December.

Short's position was eliminated from the county budget in January 1998.

Pub Date: 2/17/99

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