District 5 Newsletter 7 December 2020

ISSUE NUMBER SEVEN • December 2020

Project Updates for District 5
District 5 header

COVID-19 Information

Accurate COVID-19 information is critical to the community. For the most current and accurate information about the situation, please refer to the following:

State of Maryland
Governor Hogan's Executive Orders
Carroll County Health Department (CCHD)
Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 
Carroll County Government COVID-19     

There is also information on the COVID-19 vaccination plan: https://cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-vaccination/

Holiday guidance:     https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html    

State of the County

State of the County January 12th

The State of the County, featuring the five members of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners, sponsored by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, is Tuesday, January 12, 2021 8:00 AM. More details for this free event will be provided by the chamber.

Safety and Security Tips 

Maryland Attorney General Frosh highlights common consumer scams and offers helpful resources:

Winter Safety

Maryland Emergency Preparedness Network suggests winter weather safety tips

Snow/Ice Removal Guidelines
Help Us Clear County Roads


Carroll County Government Lobby Construction Complete - Visits Remain by Appointment Only

The main entrance lobby construction project at the Carroll County Office Building is complete effective Monday, January 4, 2021. The main lobby, located at the rear of the building, closed in October for construction to provide enhanced safety and security improvements to the main entrance and lobby area.

Public access will resume at the rear main entrance to the County Office Building. New self-check-in and temperature stations are located within the entrance area where visitors will be screened and receive a temporary visitor badge.

Access to the County Office Building continues to be by appointment only. Visitors should contact the county or the department of choice for an appointment before arriving.

Drop off boxes will remain at their current location at the lower side entrance area near Room 003.

County Retains Triple AAA from Credit Rating/Bond Sale Success

Carroll County is happy to announce receiving the highest possible credit rating, AAA, from all three major financial bond rating agencies, and a subsequent historically low interest rate during the recent bond sale which resulted in over $3.7 million in gross savings. Over $54 million in bonds were sold by the county, including $20 million for new issues dedicated to various infrastructure and other capital investments, and $34.01 million to refinance existing debt at lower rates.

Visit the county's website for more information. 

Economic Development

Carroll Rebound

Carroll Dedicates Resources To Support Community

Carroll County immediately responded to the March COVID-19 restrictions and closures by initiating a small business emergency grant. Other grant programs were steadily added to aid county farms, businesses, sole proprietors, nonprofits, and volunteer fire service organizations. Carroll, one of the first in the state to relieve the financial burdens of local organizations, devised customized, personal and one-to-one outreach to assist businesses, greatly reducing the number of business losses. Continuous outreach resulted in distribution of grants totaling more than $8.2M in local, state, and federal funding.

We appreciate the all the hard work that our business and community organizations have committed to offer our citizens the very best services during this challenging time. Carroll’s personal and ongoing pandemic responses are testament to Carroll’s innovative spirit, shared connectedness, and community dedication. To contact Economic Development, call 410-386-2070.

CaCo Grown

Farm and Agritourism Guide

Dozens of local producers and agritourism locations are featured in this virtual guide to fun places to visit and unique local products to purchase.  

Virtual Possibilities Available at BERC

While Carroll posts one of the lowest unemployment numbers in Maryland at 5.1%, we recognize that citizens need job search or training information; help is available online at www.carrollworks.com. Citizens fill out a request form and  staff will contact them to answer questions provide connections to services. Follow job leads on Twitter @carroll_works and workforce happenings on Facebook – facebook.com/CCBERC.

Businesses who are looking for workers simply fill out a job order form which will be shared with candidates on Twitter and during the weekly virtual Job Club.

Business Updates

Alderson Loop is settled in and enjoying their 5,500 sq. ft. office at Warfield at Historic Sykesville. While still benefiting from all that Downtown Sykesville has to offer, the team at Alderson Loop, led by Founder and Managing Director, Lauren Asghari, now has an expansive custom designed space that offers them room to grow. 

Eldersburg Station plans are underway at the 12.4 acre site at Londontown Blvd. & Brevard Blvd. to build an 85 room Candlewood Suites and up to 93,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant amenities to complement the surrounding area.

Welcome to Sykesville N.E.A.R. Communications Inc.!  A new business to Carroll County, N.E.A.R. Communications, a telecommunications equipment company that specializes in buying and selling technology, is making a $5M investment to purchase a 12,000 square foot building with a concept plans to add an additional 70,000 square feet at 7400 Buttercup Road in Sykesville.

Recreation & Parks News

Big Fish 2020

Piney Run Big Fish Winner Announced

Piney Run Park’s 2020 Big Fish Contest concluded on November 30, 2020.  This year’s winner was John Brashear of Yakima, WA who landed a striped bass measuring 41 ¼ inches long and weighing 27 lbs. 9 oz.  Mr. Brashear’s “Big Fish” resulted in winning a prize of $1,000.  Pictured in the first attached photo are John Brashear with this year’s winning fish and last year’s contest winner, Travis Hankins, in the boat with him.  The second photo includes Recreation & Parks Director Jeff Degitz, John Brashear and Deb Rottman, Piney Run Park Superintendent at the presentation of the “big check”.  This year’s contest was especially competitive with 4 lead changes in November including 3 in the last 2 days.  Next year’s Piney Run Big Fish Contest will begin on the park season’s opening day, March 1 and run through November 30, 2021.

Big Fish 2 2020

South Carroll Dog Park Update

The South Carroll Dog Park continues to remain popular with over 250 members.  2021 memberships are now available to be purchased and make excellent gifts for the holidays.  The park has recently benefitted from donations of shade trees and landscape boulders from Mark Hayas, Kathy Martin and Hartscapes, Inc.  Donor opportunities remain available for additional trees, park benches and a future shade structure.  For more information, please contact Recreation & Parks at 410-386-2103.

Park Restoration Projects

Recreation and Parks has several park restoration projects planned for early 2021.  Resurfacing of Freedom Park’s walking trail will be going out to bid for spring construction to occur and will help extend the lifespan of the existing trail.  Piney Run Nature Center will be getting a facelift with new flooring and renovations to the large exhibit hall.  Renovations will be completed by park staff and are expected to begin in January.

For more information about recreation and parks and various parks and activities, please visit ccrecpark.org or call 410-386-2103

Other County News

Citizens Needed for Board of Zoning Appeals 

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners is seeking Carroll County citizens to immediately fill openings on Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). 

Learn more at https://www.carrollcountymd.gov/government/boards-commissions/board-of-zoning-appeals/.

Residents can apply online at https://www.carrollcountymd.gov/government/boards-commissions/ or contact the Boards & Commissions Coordinator at volunteerboards@carrollcountymd.gov or 410-386-2043.

Eldersburg Lib drop box

New Eldersburg Library Payment Drop Box

A convenient payments box for county payments is now mounted outside the Eldersburg Branch Library for drop off of payments 24/7! Carroll County residents can pay their county Real Estate (Property) Tax payments and County Water and Sewer payments here.

Changes to Carroll Transit Routes

Transit route changes beginning January 4th include 

  • 2 additional Westminster TrailBlazer buses – reducing wait times to 30 minutes
  • 2 new Trailblazer routes in North Carroll and South Carroll, to go to and from BERC, allow wait times in for these routes to be 30 minutes – fare of $1 or $.50 if a senior/Medicare card holder/person with a disability
  • Removal of 17 stops across all routes

Information about the routes, including these changes, can be found on the website www.carrolltransitsystem.com.

See Click Report

Remember to Use See Click Report for County Issues

See Click Report, a mobile app and web compatible tool giving citizens real time access to report issues with county roads, parks and landscaping, is available to residents. Interested citizens can download the app from the app store or from the Carroll County Government website.

Citizens can request county services and report issues in county-maintained areas with the opportunity to include location, pictures, videos and specific descriptions of problems such as potholes, downed power lines, and roadkill. See Click Report provides the county with a centralized issue management system and allows residents to track the status of the reported issue.  Download the app today!

Woodsyde Project

Land and Resource Management Project Update

Woodsyde Stream Restoration and Stormwater Retrofit – The county is currently constructing the retrofit of two stormwater management facilities and the restoration of approximately 1,800 linear feet of impaired stream in the Woodsyde subdivision off of Ash Grove Court in Eldersburg.  The project will assist the county in meeting pollutant reductions required by our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Permit.  The stormwater facilities are being retrofitted to filter stormwater runoff while the stream restoration will repair the degraded channel and improve the natural habitat of the stream.  A substantial portion of the project is being funded by the Maryland Water Quality Financing Administration.  Construction is anticipated to continue into the spring of 2021.

Development Review Updates

Age-restricted developments in the plan review process:

  1. Nells Acres at MD Route 26 & Fallon Road, 129 units
  2. 44 Liberty Road, 55 units
  3. Freedom’s Grant at Slacks Road & Arrington Road, 237 units

Links to visit: 

The Developments in Process GIS map layer provides information on commercial and residential projects that are currently in the review process. https://www.carrollcountymd.gov/services/gis-maps/gis-interactive-maps/

The Development Review launch page includes Technical Review Committee meeting and Planning and Zoning Commission meeting agenda items with links to an overview plan: https://www.carrollcountymd.gov/development-review

Community Solar Zoning Text Amendment

In spring 2020, the Board of County Commissioners (the “Board) directed staff to develop a proposal for a zoning text amendment that would expand opportunities for community solar development in Carroll County by allowing community solar facilities on remaining portions over five acres in the “A” Agricultural zoning district.  Following the Board’s direction, Land & Resource Management staff developed proposed concepts for a zoning text amendment.  These concepts seek to balance the following by:

- expanding community solar opportunities
- protecting farmland and the County’s investment in agricultural land preservation
- co-locating with agricultural use, and
addressing common concerns with solar in agricultural areas

For more information, visit the dedicated county webpage


Comprehensive Rezoning Updates

Commercial/Industrial/Employment Campus Comprehensive Rezoning

The commissioners received the Comprehensive Rezoning By-Request for the Commercial/Industrial/Employment Campus Districts from the Planning and Zoning Commission on October 7, 2020.  They held a listening session soliciting comments from the community, three work sessions and a public hearing on December 3rd. Over 80 oral comments and over 100 written comments were received. 

The commissioners held two work sessions and took provisional votes on these requests. The next session is scheduled on Dec 22nd.  No date is scheduled for the final vote by the Board of County Commissioners.

Residential Zoning Code Text Amendments and By-Request Residential Map Amendments

The residential zoning code is being updated to modernize, clarify and make conisistent with county development regulations.  A citizen focus group helped draft revisions on the residential sections of the Code in Spring 2018. The county concept team expanded its public engagement by hosting two in-person meetings followed by three virtual webinars in September and November.

The dedicated website carrollrezoning.org includes the working copy of most recent draft of changes and the concept team meeting notes detailing discussions.

To-date the staff concept team has completed its initial review of the residential districts (R-40,000, R-20,000, R-10,000 and R-7,500). Please go to the dedicated webpage carrollrezoning.org for details. Also, the team will propose recommendations to a Village-Senior Housing proposal to the R-20,000 district as well as the finalizing bulk requirements, and changes to the cluster development regulations.

Currently there are two comprehensive zoning requests for map amendments, the Beaty and Zabel properties in the Eldersburg area.  The request for the Beaty property is to rezone a 69-acre portion of the property from 52 acres of Industrial Light (I-1) and 17 acres of Conservation to R-20,000. The request for the Zabel property is to rezone 101 acres of R-40,000 and 17 acres of Conservation to 107 acres of R-20,000 and 11 acres of Conservation along with a separate parcel of 28 acres of R-40,000  to R-20,000.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has forwarded a favorable recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.  Future meetings with the BCC will be scheduled in the new year.  To comment on these properties please go to Carrollrezoning.org.

Carroll County Commissioners
225 N. Center Street, Westminster, MD 21157 


commissioner corner

What a year it has been! To say 2020 was challenging is such an understatement. But out of every hardship comes something to be thankful for. I am grateful for my family and friends and thankful to my fellow Carroll County first responders, health care workers, residents and community members who have worked so selflessly together to take care of one another. This holiday is like no other. Find reasons to be positive and find new ways to connect, celebrate and rejoice. We are making progress, and together we will succeed. 

From my family to yours, I wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season and new year!

Very Respectfully,

Ed Rothstein Signature




  • COVID-19 Information
  • State of the County
  • Safety and Security
  • Winter Safety
  • Government Building
  • Credit Rating/Bond Sale
  • Carroll Rebound 
  • Farm and Agritourism
  • Virtual Possibilities at BERC
  • Business Updates
  • Piney Run Big Fish Contest
  • South Carroll Dog Park
  • Park Restoration Projects
  • Board of Zoning Appeals Opening
  • Eldersburg Library Drop Box
  • Transit Route Changes
  • See Click Report
  • Land Resource Management
  • Development Review
  • Solar Text Amendment
  • Comprehensive Rezoning
District 5