Support Vision 2030 for the future of Carroll
Carroll County enjoys a proud tradition of local government and independent decision-making -- strong principles that should not change. As the head of the Vision 2030 Oversight Committee, I can assure county residents that we are not looking to impose unwanted public policy in Carroll County ("Report on metro area irks local participants," March 8).
Instead, Vision 2030 is an unprecedented opportunity for Carroll citizens to share their opinions about the region's future in a spirit of cooperation. It's a chance to advocate for the regional benefits you desire in Carroll, while stating the need to retain the values and identity that you deem most important.
Vision 2030 workshops to date have not called for mass transit or high-density zoning for Carroll County. The goal of the Vision subcommittee workshops was to develop a series of core values and principles that will guide discussions at the upcoming Vision 2030 public hearings.
These core values and principles do not imply regional control but instead stress cooperation and coordination. For instance, a core value of the Government and Public Policy committee calls for a "clear definition of the specific areas where regional solutions have a role and work best."
Vision 2030 is about making cooperative choices for our region's future. If Carroll County wants to maintain its present character and curb growth, then others in the region should respect that decision. But we ask for Carroll County's cooperation in finding solutions that allow other parts of the Baltimore area to redevelop and accommodate growth.
I encourage Carroll County citizens to be actively involved in Vision 2030 and to attend one of the upcoming public meetings in this area: April 9 at Owings Mills High School, April 10 at Westminster High School and May 1 at Sykesville Middle School. Registration is at 6:30 p.m. All meetings will start promptly at 7 p.m.
The writer is Executive Vice President of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Chairman of the Vision 2030 Oversight Committee.
Home buyers determine where growth occurs
In spite of all the talk, people need to know the following:
From 1990 to 1995, 16,500 people moved to Carroll County. From 1995 to 2000, 10,900 people moved to Carroll County or 5,600 people less or a drop of 33.93 percent. From 1995 to 2000, [there were] 6,600 residential use and occupancy permits issued.
The State of Maryland has a deficit, which means less funds to the counties. To try and cut growth (permits) at this time is financially not responsible. ... New home interest rates are the lowest in approximately 30 years, and ... $200,000 per home is the break-even point for the county. Many homes now are selling over that, and the income from these families would be above the average with more taxes for many years to come.
Growth will come, like it or not. If you try to stop the growth in towns' [community planning areas], it will go into the remainder of the county at a greater rate than now. The town lots are smaller, taking up less land, leaving more open space. The buyer will choose where they buy as they have done in the past and will in the future.
The writer is a member of the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission.