Carroll County Master Plan Update Nearly Finished

A February 20 Carroll County Times article reported that the Carroll County Planning Commission is finalizing its update to the County’s Master Plan.  The article noted that the County’s economic development staff also played a role in the development of the update.  Local comprehensive plans and the State’s PlanMaryland have highlighted the increased importance of incorporating economic development input into master plans.

The planning commission is scheduled to meet March 5 to receive one of the last and most controversial chapters of the plan — the future land uses for properties in Carroll. The land use maps in the chapter will show people what areas staff and property owners have recommended will be able to sustain growth, foster agricultural preservation and be developed for business, industrial and residential uses in the future.  …

Lynda Eisenberg, chief of the county’s Bureau of Comprehensive Planning, said during a planning commission meeting Tuesday that county staff has taken a very close look at all properties in Carroll and tried to determine the best future land uses.

“We’re trying to go meticulously throughout the county looking parcel by parcel to see, does this make sense moving forward, does this meet our goals and objectives for commercial, industrial, conservation, residential,” Eisenberg said.

Phil Hager, director of the county’s Department of Land Use, Planning and Development, said a lot of factors are weighed when a future land use map is developed. Planning staff look at each property and factor in components such as parcel size, water availability, distance from roadways and the results of a land suitability analysis.

Hager said Carroll’s Department of Economic Development worked with property owners to get their input and learn more about what the they planned to do with their properties in the future.

Working with the county’s economic development staff was also critical to determining what areas were capable of growth and development, Hager said.