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Owings Mills, Jr.?

Hi.  This article was first published in the Carroll County Times on November 30.  If you prefer to read that version, just  click on this link.  Otherwise, here goes…


According to Google Maps, the distance from Eldersburg to 10300 Mill Run Circle in Owings Mills is 10.5 miles. More or a less a straight shot east, down Liberty Road.

In case you’re wondering, 10300 Mill Run Circle is the address of what used to be the Owings Mills Mall. It was a nice mall, but couldn’t hold its market and eventually succumbed to the onslaught of big box

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Approving a pig in a poke.

Maybe, just maybe the current version of the Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan isn’t quite ready for prime time.

The Board of Commissioners is considering whether or not to approve the Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan developed by the County’s Planning Department and endorsed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Among others, the Plan includes three new “land use designations” that you can see in the screenshot below from Page 214 of the Plan in “Appendix D, Future Land Use Definitions.”

To be clear, these are not “zoning classifications.”

“No kidding!”

You’re right. There are no details. No store sizes limits, if

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Two too many degrees of freedom.

“Degrees of freedom” is a mathematical term for the number of factors that affect a given outcome.

“Oh geez. Is there going to be quiz at the end of this article?”

No. Don’t worry. This is a pass-fail post and you’ve already passed just by showing up and reading it.

Having too many degrees of freedom means having more variables than the data you need to answer a given question. Too many variables. It’s the problem the Carroll County Planning Department keeps giving the Board of Commissioners – and the people of Eldersburg – every time the Board is charged

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What’s wrong with Carroll County’s government?

No form of government or implementation of that form is perfect. Of course not, but Carroll County has a particular combination of problems, three of them to be precise, that are conspiring to adversely affect its development and growth.

To be clear, the problem isn’t personnel. The career staff in the government and the elected and appointed officials are good, hardworking, dedicated public servants. Some of them more effective, better at what they do than others, but individuals are not the problem. No. The problem is structural and the good news is that it can be fixed in relatively short

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To Incorporate Or Not To Incorporate?

Are you feeling threatened by a Comprehensive Plan that would increase residential density and encourage large, “Big Box Store” commercialization in Eldersburg?

Does it seem like the County’s planners are going to do what they want to the community where you live – whether you like it or not?

That’s not the way it is in Hampstead, Manchester, Mount Airy, New Windsor, Sykesville, Taneytown, Union Bridge and Westminster.

“No kidding. Why’s that?!”

Good question. It’s because they’re all incorporated cities and control their own zoning. That’s why. Compared to these cities, the unincorporated community of Eldersburg is way too easy

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Eldersburg Town Hall Meeting Update

Long story short…

Hi. The issue on the table is the Planning Department’s reliance upon Big Box Store commercialization in Eldersburg as a means for growing Carroll County. They should be concentrating on bringing business and manufacturing employers to the County, but commercialization is much easier and faster.

Economic development should be a three legged stool under which each of the legs is equally important. One leg is local government. Another leg is the developers with the property and resources to make development happen. (That’s why they’re called “developers.”) And the third leg should be the people, the families who

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Our Ad In The Carroll County Times

To encourage you to attend Commissioner Doug Howard’s Town Hall Meeting, we’re running this ad this Labor Day weekend in the Carroll County Times…

Like Weeds

Just click on the link above to see it.  And tell your family, friends and neighbors to see you there!  (Details are in the ad.)

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The Eldersburg Big Box Store Simple Survey

The question is, “Are you okay with re-zoning 1503 Liberty Road for individual store sizes larger than 100,000 SF?”

Hi. As you may already know, recent efforts to pass a text amendment that would increase maximum individual store size on all B-NR (Business – Neighborhood Retail) zoned property, countywide, from 10,000 SF to 50,000 SF were not successful.  The Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 against approval with District 5 (Eldersburg) Commissioner Doug Howard taking the lead on your behalf.

This was the second time that efforts to rezone the vacant property we’re showing you in the Google satellite

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Making Millions for the Few at the Expense of the Many

Every meeting counts. Thursday morning, July 6, beginning at 10 AM in Room 311 of the Carroll County office building at 225 North Center St. in Westminster, the Board of Commissioners will receive a briefing on a zoning “text amendment” affecting B-NR zoned properties and their neighborhoods around the County.

  • Without any impact analysis…
  • In advance of a new Comprehensive Plan that hasn’t been approved…
  • Based on a limited study funded by the owner of one of these properties…
  • Without regard for the effects on people living nearby…

…the Board of Commissioners is being asked to increase maximum store

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Point, Counterpoint.

Arguing about the text amendment –

“It’s not the business of County government to be telling property owners specifically what they can put on land they own and would like to develop.”

“But that’s exactly what zoning is all about, isn’t it? You can put small retail here, big box stores over there, maybe townhouses, but not apartments…”

“Sure, but those are general restrictions based on

thoughtful, comprehensive plans. What we’re not and should not be doing is telling a property owner specifically whether or not they can build a grocery store.”ˆ

 “Even if it’s a grocery store that the

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