Sunday, February 05, 2006

Southside Doughoregan

More news on the Doughoregan front, only this latest story just makes things more confusing.

Seven descendants of Declaration of Independence signer Charles Carroll of Carrollton have outlined plans to divide 540 acres they own on the southern portion of Howard County's Doughoregan Manor, while relatives who own the historic mansion are trying to raise millions of dollars to repair and preserve their larger portion of the estate.

The 540 acres, called "South Manor," belong to six Carroll cousins and one older relative who want to divide it into seven parcels. That will allow the five who don't live on the property to sell some development rights and build a few homes on other parcels to obtain cash.
Though it's all one estate, there are already several different mini-estates with different owners with different needs and desires. Still confused? Me to. Here's some clarification.
...the South Manor plan to divide 540 acres was outlined by John L. Carroll Jr. at a Howard County Historic District Commission meeting Thursday night.

...Carroll made clear to the county's historic commission members that his group's plan isn't connected to his relatives' proposals for their larger, more northern property.

"I've got nothing to do with that. They pretty much do their thing, and we do our own," said Carroll, 42, a psychiatric social worker.

Well that's a little clearer. Now what do they actually want to do?

"We've spent about three years negotiating a [land] division plan that everybody likes. We want to divide it up so that everybody has a piece of the pie," he said.

The subdivision plan does not prevent more development, however. Carroll said the hope is to use a provision of county zoning law to sell developers the right to build 38 homes elsewhere in the county, permanently preserving the largest of the parcels, a mostly wooded 123-acre tract east of Manor Lane.

Seven homes could be built on a panhandle-shaped, 75-acre parcel just north of Open Run Road, west of Manor Lane. Homes could rise on two parcels totaling 148 acres near The Preserve, an estate subdivision off Centennial Lane, Carroll and McLaughlin said.

But Carroll said he and his cousin, Natalie Ziegler, hope their arrangements would prevent development near either of their homes on the estate.

..."I have a vested interest in preventing development," said John L. Carroll Jr., one of the seven. He wants to build a new home for his wife and baby near the historic 1830 Manor Lane residence called Stone House, where his family lives on the 2,000-acre Doughoregan Manor estate.

Whew. Sorry for the long excerpts, but I was having fits trying to summarize the article; this effort certainly wasn't helped by the fact that reporter Larry Carson included an entire family tree in his piece (too many Carrolls!). So instead, I just rearranged it.

Anyway, these Carrolls, like those who own the larger piece now being discussed, seem to be doing things the right way. They have a right to tap into the wealth that's locked in their land, but they also see the importance of preserving as much as possible. Moreover, they've opened their plans to daylight well in advance of any action and have been willing to talk with the county and citizens.