Two too many degrees of freedom.

The property runs along Liberty Road, between Georgetown Blvd. on the left and Homeland Drive on the right. (Most of it looks like a giant right foot.) Those are the Homeland Condominium buildings running along the left edge of Homeland Drive.

“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.

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What’s wrong with Carroll County’s government?

Carroll County’s Director of Planning, Phil Hager

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 order.

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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.

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The Eldersburg Big Box Store Simple Survey

Big Box Store CartoonThe 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.

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Making Millions for the Few at the Expense of the Many

Carroll County, Maryland Government Offices in Westminster

Carroll County, Maryland Government Offices in Westminster

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.

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Point, Counterpoint.

Proposed Site for New LIDL Grocery Store

The “Right Foot” site at heart of the argument.

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…”

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The Eldersburg Grocery Store Market Study

On Wednesday, June 7, the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission is meeting in Room 003 of the County’s office building at 225 N. Center St. in Westminster. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a “text amendment” that will change all B-NR (Business – Neighborhood Retail) property in the county to increase maximum store size from just 10,000 SF to a whopping 100,000 SF. Big difference.

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Are “Big Box” stores coming soon to your backyard?!

On Wednesday, June 7, the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission is going to be meeting at the County office building, 225 North Center St. in Westminster. The meeting will begin at 6 PM in Room 003. (You’ll enter on the side of the building.)

For Eldersburg – and especially for the families who live around and nearby 1503 Liberty Road ¬– the highlight of this June 7 hearing will be the discussion of a “text amendment.” If approved, this text amendment will increase the maximum store size for all B-NR (Business – Neighborhood Retail) zoned property in the County tenfold, from 10,000 SF to 100,000 SF.

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Eldersburg: On one hand…

To be clear at the very outset, this is a story with no bad guys. Not the property owner, not the new grocery store company, not the people who own homes around the property and not the Carroll County government.  No villains.  No victims per se, although not everybody will be pleased with how all this turns out.  

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Eldersburg: “Quibbling”

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hi, everyone.  “Quibbling” was the original title of “Eldersburg doesn’t need 7th grocer,” an op/ed piece that the Carroll County Times was kind enough to publish today under its “Other Voices” program.  Our thanks to the Times.  If you missed reading it, here, below, is the PDF print from today’s paper.

As always, your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Eldersburg Doesn’t Need 7th Grocer – May 4, 2017