Commissioner Doug Howard, in response to the many complaints about the Carrolltown Carnival, issued the following statement.

Ref: The Carnival at Carrolltown Mall

Date: April 7, 2011

I have received many phone calls and emails from residents concerned about the carnival that’s currently setting up in the parking lot of Carrolltown Mall.  I too am very concerned and was not aware of it coming to our area until this morning when I drove by the site and saw the rides and booths.

I have spoken with the chief of our Zoning office who is responsible for granting permits for carnivals and fairs.  During our conversation I learned that the county’s zoning ordinance allows carnivals and fairs as long as they are sponsored by a non-profit organization, operate for no more than 10 days and are not held more than once in any 30 day period at the same location.

The carnival company complied with the county’s requirement by filing an application for a temporary use and occupancy permit.  In this process they proved that they have liability coverage and that they are sponsored by a non-profit organization.  They originally asked to operate the carnival for 14 days, but were told that the ordinance only allows operation for 10 days.  They will be operating from Friday, April 8th through Sunday, April 17th.

Our Zoning Administrator also mentioned that the county noise ordinance, as it is currently written, exempts this kind of event from the noise restrictions between the hours of 7am to midnight.

I have also spoken with the Health Department to determine that the

carnival has the proper permits to serve food.  The carnival company has also complied with all Health Department application requirements and a temporary food service permit was issued.

Finally, I spoke with the county Sheriff’s Office and asked them to provide more police presence in the area during the carnival’s operation.  They offered to have their deputies drive by the area more

often and possibly have some of their volunteer auxiliary patrol officers visit the area to add an additional police presence.  They have also alerted the state police to the carnival’s presence.

Please be assured that I am not comfortable with the way this process has worked and I intend on delving further into this area to see what changes can and should be made to our existing ordinances to better protect our community.  I am of the understanding that Black Oak Associates, who owns Carrolltown Mall, will be donating a significant portion of their proceeds to the Sykesville Fire Department. I thank you for contacting me on this matter and look forward to receiving your continued input.  If you have further questions or concerns about the carnival please either respond to this email or call my cell phone 443-547-1715.

Yours truly,

Doug Howard

District 5 Commissioner

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