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Carroll County Listening Sessions, March 1, 2018

What We Heard in Response

 

Concerns Over Previous Mandates ♦ Concern Over Growth Tier Map Requirements ♦ Economic Development ♦ Housing ♦ Infrastructure  ♦ Community Engagement and Volunteerism ♦ Training and Education ♦ Transportation ♦ Environment  ♦ Community  ♦ Funding ♦ Neighboring Jurisdictions ♦ Communication ♦ State Agencies ♦ Technical Assistance ♦ Planning ♦ General

The comments below represent the statements or points of view of one or more individuals who participated in the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) “A Better Maryland” Development Plan Listening Sessions. These comments do not represent any official position or policy of MDP or any other State agency, nor do they represent any official position or policy of any local jurisdiction or local planning agency.

Concerns Over Previous Mandates

Challenges with the Maryland Historical Trust

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) does not always give clear answers on its stormwater requirements

For example, we develop a facility using previous state funding to the specifications at the time. Then, when we go for a permit, we hear there is now another phase or requirement, previously unexplained, without available funding

The previous state administration’s regulations prevented the development of large Planned Unit Developments in Carroll

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Concern Over Growth Tier Map Requirements

Lack of clarity on technical details of SB 236

For example, what happens when a parcel in a County without an adopted tier map is annexed into a Town with an adopted tier map? What tier does it join the town as?

Tier maps seem redundant when a water and sewer master plan (WSP) is so detailed

The County currently completes a triennial water and sewer plan update that is closely coordinated with its municipalities

This law haunts the County

7 lot subdivisions (minor) that are allowed in County will result in scattered, smaller developments in the rural areas of the County

It would be better to have one larger, coordinated, and focused subdivision

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Economic Development

Interested in a State Economic Development Plan that includes a land use perspective. Including market studies, emerging trends, and adaptive reuse strategies for areas such as intended employment campuses

Tourism is a statewide goal that A Better Maryland should address

Carroll needs more jobs and appropriate local job training

Good paying jobs

Schools are the largest employer in the County, and they are shrinking

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Housing

Nationwide housing inventory problem arising in Maryland will lead to an affordability issue. This is partially a symptom of ever increasing development regulations

Housing affordability is an issue

Schools and housing are closely intertwined

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Infrastructure

Need assistance with high speed fiber development, which is required for attracting employers. Broadband is the 21st century utility. The State must help with this (reiterated many times)

Only have Comcast, would like Fios to be available

What kind of technologies does a municipality need to offer to attract jobs and employers?

What is currently and will be relevant in an age of rapidly changing technology?

Need to think of infrastructure beyond the standard examples

This should be a component of economic development in comprehensive plans

Occasionally, to address failing community septic systems, community sewer systems are built.  For poorer communities, the monthly costs of these systems are too high and they opt to keep their failing septic systems despite the negative effect on our water resources.  Are there creative solutions to reduce the high monthly costs per household?

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Community Engagement and Volunteerism

More transparency needed

Commuters don’t have time to volunteer in their community

Individuals and citizen groups are very determined in Carroll

A small organized group opposed an incinerator project

Strong citizen involvement

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Training and Education

Workforce development centers needed

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Transportation

Would like assistance with bike paths

A trail traversing the State would be a great asset

Road improvements very important for a County like Carroll

Need to improve Route 140

The Board is trying to put aside some road funding so it can contribute to State funds

Traffic is a big problem in the Eldersburg area

Roads are not designed to handle the volume they currently do

MD-32 is critical to the region (including Howard County)

A Better Maryland should address transportation

Models for and assistance with rural transit services are needed

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Environment

Very proud of agricultural preservation in Carroll County, but also need to balance this with business development

Would like to use greywater systems

They could cut amount of wastewater that needs to be treated

Need help getting legislation through

A Better Maryland should address the environment, as water flows between jurisdictions

Maryland should help with storm drain mapping and compile local efforts into a statewide database

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Community

Thousands of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) enthusiasts in Maryland have no place to ride. This results in the State outsourcing this recreation to neighboring states

State could receive taxes and fees on this recreation if it approached it differently

The impact of these vehicles on the environment is very minimal and exaggerated by some

We aspire to be more than a bedroom community

County closed three schools last year, and maybe more this year

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Funding

Funding is always helpful

Carroll shouldn’t be denied funding because it wants to grow outside of a Priority Funding Area

We are underrepresented in our share of state funding

Small towns don’t have enough money

Cooperative purchasing should be considered

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Neighboring Jurisdictions

Carroll provides a great deal of support to municipalities

Would be helpful to know what is going on around the region

More communication between municipalities is needed

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association could help with this

Need to work with Howard County on Route 32 widening project

Neighbors always compete for funding

Counties need to talk to each other more

Large flow of commuters from Pennsylvania pass through Carroll County

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Communication

A Better Maryland should address communication and collaboration between State and County government

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State Agencies

Would like to see better coordination between regulatory (Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)) and planning (Maryland Department of Planning (MDP)) agencies

County used its Water Resources Element (WRE) from its comprehensive plan to craft its last triennial WSP update

The WRE and WSP should not counteract each other

MDE’s permitting processes sometime contradict local and state planning objections and best practices

As a project works its way across state agencies, there are always hiccups and conflicting information

Need assistance with developing water sources. Lack of reliable sources is holding the County back and slowed its growth

For example, can only use the Medford Quarry as a water source in a state of emergency. Using it for other purposes would assist with development

State government has been very easy to work with

Best Available Technology systems have been very helpful

Happy the state came to talk about A Better Maryland before initiating a plan

Different agencies and their plans should be linked together

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Technical Assistance

Need assistance with responding to and preparing for declining student populations and the impact on Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances (APFOs)

Assistance for Citizen Planners

Linking similar issues across multiple jurisdictions

Pilot programs and projects

They do the work, but are the least educated in planning areas

More regional input, planning, and infrastructure development assistance is needed. Particularly from the State Highway Administration

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Planning

County would like legal advice about planning bike and pedestrian improvements for a dangerous intersection

Examples of what other jurisdictions have done in a similar situation

Objective is to balance development and agricultural preservation. People moved to County for its rural setting

We are a rural county and want to stay that way

Working on the Freedom Plan

Trying to arrive at the proper amount of density that will support the tax base

County is in a fragile situation

Need to grow sensibly to maintain a high quality of life

Sensible, controlled, and focused on preservation

Can’t assume some growth templates are good, while others are bad

One size does not fit all

Municipalities have very small planning departments

Carroll County needs more growth

Need more multi-use zoning in County

Southern part of County is facing greater growth pressure

Overdevelopment in the southern portion of the County has taken away the reason why some people moved there

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General

A Better Maryland should be dynamic and web-based and get ahead of emerging trends

Concerned with proposed SB 610, which would require reforestation within PFAs following a development

Assets

Carroll has high quality of life metrics, specifically in high school graduation rates, manufacturing, employment, and library circulation

Thoughtful and involved people

Mt Airy has a great downtown

Main Street revival in Sykesville

Liberty Reservoir

Carroll Arts Center

Proximity to Patapsco Trails

Challenges

Funding

Jobs

Commutes. This is a quality of life issue

Overdevelopment is leading to a crowded County

This is true for some parts of the County, but not all. Freedom Area mentioned as planned for too much density

Traffic and infrastructure

Changing zoning midstream

Athletic fields and other recreational opportunities

Lack of open and honest government and poor communication

Declining school enrollment

Urgent care centers

Workforce development centers

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