Countywide growth controls make sense

Source: Gazette
Article Type:
Date Published: 10/09/2008

The Frederick Board of County Commissioners last month presented municipal leaders with a proposal that would force them to adopt a law to better control growth. Known as an “adequate public facilities ordinance,” the law would prevent development if public facilities (roads, schools, police, fire and rescue, etc.) cannot handle the residents and traffic that accompany growth. Some towns have such laws, others do not and control growth using other policies. The efficacy of such measures can be a matter of debate, mostly because traffic continues to worsen, schools remain overcrowded, and fire and rescue personnel are at times overwhelmed. County commissioners are trying to change that by implementing one growth-control ordinance countywide, applicable to all municipalities. Such a move is rare, mostly because county and municipal governments are considered separate entities. Municipal leaders do not like county leaders telling them what to do anymore than county leaders like state leaders telling them what to do. But we see this move as necessary.