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…”

Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd from “Point, Counterpoint” on Saturday Night Live in 1978.

“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 community doesn’t need, doesn’t want and can’t support? Even if the success of that new grocery store will come at the expense of jobs at established grocery stores and other shopping centers nearby?”

 “That’s just none of our business. It’s just not what we do.”

 “What about the text amendment that the Planning and Zoning Commission is going to be meeting about on the 7th?”

 “What about it? It increases maximum store size for all B-NR zoned property in the county tenfold, from 10,000 SF to 100,000 SF. So what?”

 “Well, the ‘So what?’ part is that the whole purpose of the text amendment is to allow the owner of one Eldersburg property sell a portion of it to a grocery store chain. …It’s the property owner who asked for the text amendment because the grocery store is much bigger than what the current B-NR zoning allows.”

 “So?”

 “Are you kidding? The text amendment is effectively an on-off switch. …If the county approves the text amendment, a grocery store goes on the property. And if it doesn’t approve the text amendment, then there won’t be a grocery store, right?”

 “Right.”

 “So tell me again how the County isn’t already in the business of telling property owners specifically what they can or cannot build on their property?”

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