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In Maryland zoning laws are determined county by county. The state wide "smart growth" intiative is a suggestion that some counties have followed, others not.
Again you may describe Washington County as "the boonies" but it is only 65 miles from downtown D.C. and only about 25 miles from Frederick, which in case you were wondering is the second largest incorporated city in MD.
If I may editorialize for a moment....It is very common for folks in metro MD to have this opinion that some communites like Montgomery, PG, Howard, A.A. Baltimore Counties are "allowed" to grow. They can build new developments, clear forests, subdivide farms, build roads, attract employers etc, while other counties are forbidden to grown. These places must forever remain tracts of forest or seas of wheat for suburbanite's weekend recreation; open spaces to ease the eco-friendly consciousness of those hypocrits that live in sprawl, gussle gas in traffic, and heat their 3000 sq ft house, but want somewhere else to remain wild.
It should only take a brief look outside of your own little world to relieze the unfairness of this proposition. Why should farmers and land owners in some counties not be allowed to develop their land or sell it to others in order to make money to improve their lives or the lives of their children? Why should some communities not be allowed to build new houses, attract new residents, attract new employers. This kind of growth is essential to build the tax bases in these communities, build new schools, get state funds for new roads, new sewers, new water pipes, the kind of things you take for granted in Montgomery County. Before you go on again about the quaint rural feeling you love so much in Western Maryland, consider the levels of poverty and unemployment that these communties face because they don't have the engine of growth that others in Maryland too. Your plan to preserve them forever as farms and forests would essential doom these communties to continued decay, poverty and isolation. Maybe that would good for you and your conscience, but bad for them. Sorry to sound confrontation, but understand that we in Western Maryland are not here for your pleasure or piece of mind, we need the right to grow and develop in the ways we see fit for our communties and at our pace. I have never heard anyone from Western Maryland try and tell Montgomery County how to use their land and resources, so why do the 'burbs try and tell us what to do? I am not saying I want uncontrolled sprawl or growth, quite the opposite, but any rational person who has ever been to Cumberland or other parts of Western Maryland know that these communities need growth, development and new investment or they will continue to fade away.
You're way off base.
First who says the way Baltimore county or PG develope is correct?
What makes sense is to concentrate growth near major metro areas, DC, BAL, that have the infrastructure to support them.
Not only do this led to less congestion, but it allievates growing pains.
When you just rapidly develope a nice rural area that doesn't help the county, it hurts and not just by the scene.
It is a well known fact that residental developement is more costly than any money it brings in, schools cost a lot of money to operate.
When there is massive growth the county suffers a great deal, as do many of the old time residents.
Not only do they pay with the destruction of a nice, clean rural area, but they pay with higher taxes, including property.
This ultimately pushes them out of the area.
If they are fortunate enough to own land they can sell and make a profit, if not the poverty isn't eliminated, it simply is shifted to another place.
Meantime the state as a whole suffers as this type of spawl hurts the environment.
It leads to more car trips, more air pollution, less habitat for wildlife.
I am not suggesting no growth, but what is going on in Loudon County IS NOT the type of growth that is good for rural counties at large.
It's bad, not only is the rural character lost forever, the community is gone, people are pushed out, the quality of life in many ways, with pollution, congestion, overcrowded schools, taxes, is made worse.
Smart growth were major developments are near big cities, while 30 miles out has smaller and fewer lots to be developed, is the best solution for quality cumulative.
Nobody wants Frederick to be another Loudon with townhomes and McDonalds all over.
I just found out that my husband is definitely being sent to Frederick, MD by June. We have a 4 y/o son and we're 26. We definitely can't afford to live in Frederick and were thinking about Hagerstown. I've found lots of apartments that we could definitely afford ($900 or so a month).
Does anyone have anything they could tell me about it?
not to bad, but if gas isnt an issue the I would try and get outside hagerstown, in the burbs. Martinsburg (I prefer), marlow, but not sportsman paradise.
I actually don't have much disagreement with the substance of what you said. I would hate it it if my hometown was "Loudanized." Understand though, that it is a very sensative subject out in the mountains. As much as we love our small town, forested live, our communities are dying out. Literally, the citizenry is aging, schools are closing, the population is literally shrinking by 1,000s of people each decade. So as much as I would love my community to regain vigour by each local couple having 4 children, and big employers setting much shop in county, and having each town expand its existing street grid pattern with single family homes that match the arcitectural style of the community, I know it doesn't work that way. People want to live in sterile, prefab communities, I know this because a major employer choose another small town over Cumberland because they said Cumberland didn't have enough "high-end housing stock." People generally would rather commute to make more money, have more "house", nicer cars, etc. than working local and having less material goods. This is reality, and if my community wants to join the 21st century and have a future other than decay, we need some part of this.
Sorry about the aggressive tone in the previous message, but we have a complex about out-of-towners telling us what to do with our land and our communities. I mentioned hypocracy, and I would stand by that assessment. Down-staters love to comment about how much they love to visit and how great it would be to live out there, but don't because they don't want a 100 year old house, they don't want to make less money, they don't want to send their kids to an 80yr old school. So there in lies the conundrum. People love the idea of real small towns and rural communities, but after their week long vacation is over they go back the burbs but still feel entitled to tell us not to change, because we have it so good.
Lastly, Smart Growth works great where you have exisiting infrastructure, when you don't have infrastructure, Smart Growth says you can't grow. This plans works great in the Montgomery, PG, Howard etc, where you already have 40 years of growth to base your future plans around. If you impliment this plan to an area that has had negative growth for the past 40 years, it just doesn't work. Smart Growth in Allegany County would push all development to Cumberland and west, why? Because their is no population to speak of in the Eastern 2/3 of our county. This is the part of our county that is within a possible commute to Hagerstown/Frederick. This is where potential growth could and probably will occur in our county. Smart Growth would prohibit this on principal and essential crush any economic/population stabilization growth in our community before it even has a chance to start.
"Need To Move To Hagerstown" gave a helpful overview, which is at the bottom of this post.
It anserws the questions by some who can contemplate growth has hit all counties within 60 to 80 miles of DC. Save your energy for a move & do not be mad at growth & argue if it exists or doesnt, or which is good or bad growth. Or will Wash Co & other havens turn into Louden County. Because we do not know. Follow the lead of most, resist coming off as telling anyone anything, it does not win points in Western Md. Comes across harsh & shuts down conversation. I have learned. Better to have a community appeal vs a this side vs that side. Will get folks further. So true in these outlying counties.
Before arguing about growth (smart or not so smart, I guess):
Pick a place u can love and maybe u can be the one to make some helpful changes in your new town. Most newcomers find Hagerstown & other towns w/in the county or nearby Pa to be great. If u drive up, spend a couple of days visiting, return numerous x before moving. This means meeting the people & sampling schools, arts, & infrastructure. u will know if it is right or wrong for your pocket book or mindset. Both are important.
In response to a poster's ?: If u visit u will see it is not the boonies but a pleasant inbetween.
Newcomers do notice that development is getting out of control, not just in Wash Co but in WVA & Pa counties that are commuterable havens. Some longtime residents think it is the newcomers, when some new folk are actually buying older homes, & revitalizing areas in need of attention. Development has actually occurred at both the hands of outside investors and homegrown bussinesses. So it goes both ways. In reality, newcomers and longtime residents want the same thing, a good quality of life. Most recognize but do not hold the govt, developers, & citizens as accountable as they should. But planning and oversight is improving. It will improve if all (new or old) citizens remain vigilent. This is stilll a great area. Add high tech jobs or a MARC line & it would be oh so good, but that has not happened yet.
Need to move... said:
"As I have lived in H-town, I will give my insight. It's definitely blue collar but less than it was, say 15 yrs ago. It's becoming pale blue collar. And shopping now is good, thanks to the aforementioned outlet stores and big box retailers, all accessible within 20-30 min. H-Town is a very historic town, alot of landmarks, City Park, Hager House, Maryland Theater (scenes from the movie Guarding Tess with Nicholas Cage and Shirley Maclaine, were shot there) and various historic civil war era sites. So yes, it's an OLD town. That being said, Anteitem Battefield is in Sharpsburg, not far from H-Town, great place to spend the 4th of July with fireworks and the Maryland Symphony Orchstra. Housing is going up in H-Town and in Wash County but compare it with Annapolis, Rockville, Columbia etc, it's still a county where you can get alot of house for less money than you think. That won't last long. I share the same disappointment with one of the other posters, the vast green farm/open land is going quickly to developers who are looking for a fast buck to cram underpaid-overworked-hates-the-DC-congestion-and-can't-afford-the-housing-in-the-immediate-area-DC refugees. In closing, look at other towns in Wash county as well...WASH CO: Sharpsburg, Boonsboro, Williamsport, Clear Spring.. there's more in Pa & WVa.. just need further research."
trust me, Tberg, it's growing and beginning to sprawl... heck -- it's sprawled out past Martinsbug ,VA -- no one can afford to live any closer to DC, so they have to keep moving out... we finally just moved on out of the area completely (to TN)
YUP, the entire discussion, while helpful in sections, is also a no brainer if u drive out & look. Still a nice area but of course there is development & that will lead to sprawl. That is why people r moving out as far as possible re: reasonable commutes. If u tela-commute it is a different story, the countryside is great, & an option. Sadly, I like to be home at a reasonable hour to enjoy my new place. So my tether is shorter. I still like Wash Co, and outlying areas but things change.
"Writting on Fire... sometimes it changes my words."
(set 8 days ago)
Location: West Virginia
7,112 posts, read 11,971,433 times
Originally Posted by Katie1
Sounds like to me that you have found a place...So go for it!
this is for the org poster!!
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