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More than three decades ago, the late J. Norman Graham, at the time a county commissioner, offered this gem:

"Ever'body who moves to Carroll County wants to be the last one."

In other words, those who help move the county from rural to suburban object mightily to others who do the same.

But there are variations on this theme. Those who seek the bucolic beauty of Carroll's rolling farmlands object vehemently when spring rolls around, crops are planted and the odor of fertilizer (often odiferous chemicals or even manure) fills the air.

Farm machinery on the road, too, becomes a bane — they slow transit to the supermarket and so on.

In Ireland in the early 1800s, it was fashionable for the English gentry to pretend to live the simple pastoral life. The Swiss Cottage near Cahir was built to accommodate this fantasy. It has two levels, the upper for the gentry and the lower for the servants to travel in passages with hidden entrances to the upstairs rooms.

The gentry wanted servants, of course, to clean the rooms, cook the food and care for the clothes. But they wanted to pretend that they were roughing it so the servants had to remain hidden.

We have some of that Swiss Cottage mentality in Carroll County. People want to view a nearby farm. They just don't want to smell it.

Now a third voice of opposition is being raised, this time by those who are in or near the new proposed industrial zones near Taylorsville and south of Mount Airy.

It is the old "FUD Factor" — fear, uncertainty and doubt.

First, they fear that they will lose some of the value of their homes. Well, we have all lost value in the last year or more, so this should be no shock. But land that is rezoned industrial on or near a highway is likely to increase in value, not decrease. Some of the industrially rezoned parcels along Route 140 in Westminster, for example, have been sold for millions.

An uncertainty is that the industrial zoning is a "conditional use," and banks won't loan money on such holdings. In fact, the bank is only concerned with two things — value of the property and the ability of the current or prospective owner to pay the monthly mortgage payments. I have been assured by county staff that so long as a residence is maintained as a residence it will be treated the same for tax and other purposes as other residences in the same area.

Finally, they doubt the rural nature of their corner of Carroll County will be maintained. But when their house was built on former farmland, the rural nature of that neighborhood was diminished. And when the house next to it or across the road was built it was diminished further.

In Eldersburg, where I call home, we have industrially-zoned land next to some rather ritzy neighborhoods. The same FUD factors came up. But a screen of trees or a raised berm effectively shields one section from another.

And warehouses are very quiet neighbors — much quieter than some residences. (Ever live across the road from a family whose child was practicing to be a drummer in the high school marching band?)

We have no factories belching smoke, no noisy boiler-making facilities. As for traffic, there is plenty generated by the retail stores but almost none by the former London Fog plant, now used as a base of operations by a company that supplies outdoor lighting and such. I cannot recall ever seeing a vehicle going in or out.

More to the point, expensive new houses are being built on land adjacent to the London Fog area. Industrial zoning nearby has not deterred developers.

If and when industry comes to the industrially-zoned parcels, the worst that can happen is that some day years from now a realtor may make them an offer so high they can't afford to refuse it.

If they accept it they will have to move. Otherwise not.

But that is the nature of life; when things change we must change with them.

That is how they got here in the first place.

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