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Old 05-08-2013, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland area
546 posts, read 2,235,125 times
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I tried Googling the answer, but to no avail. I always found it interesting that Maryland is dominated by unincorporated areas/CDPs. Is there a reason for this? Any benefit? Downside?

I would assume taxes would be slightly lower, since there are no elected officials for most towns. Then again, something tells me I may be wrong.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,090 posts, read 18,613,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
I always found it interesting that Maryland is dominated by unincorporated areas/CDPs. Is there a reason for this? Any benefit? Downside?
Who needs more bureaucracy and taxes? The government of Montgomery County does a sufficient job providing government services. It is also the way the county developed historically out of the farmlands. Most southern states also have county-based governments.

New Jersey with its zillions of townships is more the exception. NJ also limits school attendance to within the township. In Montgomery, kids can use other county schools for special programs. I am not familiar with how the Mid-west developed. Is it based on the 40-acre land grant system?
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Fort Washington, MD
671 posts, read 1,252,125 times
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I don't know about making a zillion townships, but I do think that PG County should split up into halves or thirds. As a Fort Washington resident representing one of the highest tax bases for the county, my area is largely neglected by my county and state government. If you consider National Harbor helping my area, all it has done is increase traffic and taxes so that NoVA and DC residents can have a playground. Heck, the earliest project to deal with traffic is widening MD 210 and that is an unfunded proposal slated for no earlier than 2020!

Keep local government LOCAL. A local government cares about its local populace. When you have a huge piece of land like PG County, it is no surprise that there is a disconnect between the government and its constituents at all corners of its jurisdiction.

Heck, I wouldn't mind writing a charter and proposing to the state legislature an effort to make Fort Washington its own incorporated township.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,837 posts, read 57,830,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
I tried Googling the answer, but to no avail. I
I think it goes back to the original colonial era Catholic settlements.

The several parish's exercised more than enough control and influence...
and those who liked that didn't want the competition.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:19 PM
rfp
 
337 posts, read 548,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
I always found it interesting that Maryland is dominated by unincorporated areas/CDPs. Is there a reason for this? Any benefit? Downside?

I would assume taxes would be slightly lower, since there are no elected officials for most towns. Then again, something tells me I may be wrong.
Here is the best summary I read for living unincorporated:
PROS - Larger lot size, lower taxes, independence from municipal agencies, freedom to do what you want on your property (e.g. park a trailer, a boat, a double-wide, etc), burn yard waste and trash, distance from neighbors.
CONS - Septic, septic, septic (some folks like septic systems since they dont have a monthly sewer cost - yeah, that is great until you have a septic problem. Then again, municipal sewers have been known to back up into basements too!) and lack of police coverage (County Sheriff can take a while, buy a firearm!).

http∶//forums.redfin.com/t5/Chicago/Unincorporated-area-pros-amp-cons/td-p/5099

It also takes longer to schedule inspections of property modifications, etc. In general it just takes longer to work with the authorities when you have to get things done. And usually zoning regulations are rather lax - your neighbor could raise chickens on his lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
I am not familiar with how the Mid-west developed. Is it based on the 40-acre land grant system?
The Homestead Act of 1862 gave 160 acres (1/4 square mile) to farmers who had worked the land five years.
The grants were often divided by farmers into four 40-acre "sections", hence the expressions "south-40," "north-40," etc.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
1,359 posts, read 3,187,455 times
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I think one major reason is that many of Maryland's larger communities are relatively new (especially in the DC Area), formed mostly by the exploding growth around DC since the mid-1900's and white flight/sprawl around Baltimore. Germantown, Columbia, Clarksburg, Owings Mills, North Bethesda are all examples of farmland turned suburbia within the past decade.

You'll see a lot more incorporated towns inside the Beltway, especially in Prince George's County. Silver Spring and Bethesda are exceptions since both are (mostly) inside the Beltway and date back to the 1800's, but weren't much more than small toll road/railroad stops.

In Northern Virginia its even more pronounced, with very few incorporated communities (which are legally separate from counties) in the region.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:48 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
6,525 posts, read 11,614,071 times
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Baltimore County doesn't have a single incorporated city or town. Maybe that's kept taxes reasonable on the local level by MARYLAND standards. In Montgomery there is a disconnect between the rural portions around Damascus and Poolesville vs the rest of the county which is very liberal and hostile to agricultural interests. For one thing they've banned all growth around Poolesville and thus is pushing the sprawl into Frederick County and West Virginia.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:54 AM
 
581 posts, read 952,503 times
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The logical disconnect is astounding. If it weren't for the ag reserve, there would be no agricultural interests left in Montgomery County.

How many farms are left in Fairfax County vs. Montgomery County?
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:03 PM
 
171 posts, read 174,989 times
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"Unincorporated"....are you refering to people?
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 13,232,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machinebike View Post
"Unincorporated"....are you refering to people?
Nah, it's a legal term. An "incorporated area" is a chunk of land that's often called a City or Town or Township or something thereof. It has its own government, often its own special taxes, official boundaries, and services.

For instance, Rockville is an incorporated area. It has official boundaries, I think it has its own local tax, it has its own police force, etc. There's a mayor (some incorporated areas just have a council). It's legally its own entity.

An unincorporated area is, legally, governed by the county. Bethesda is an example of an unincorporated area. There aren't any official, legal boundaries to what is considered Bethesda. There's no "Bethesda government." Everything in Bethesda is done by the county government.


To be honest, it's one of the few very Southern things about Maryland. Most Southern states are organized at the county level with few incorporated areas. Compare that to the North, particularly New England, where some states have no unincorporated areas at all!
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