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Grimm works in his own time 'zone'

November 09, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - As zoning administrator for the Town of Funkstown, C. Richard "Dick" Grimm has found a job that not only meets his requirements for a part-time job but also draws upon the skills he learned in his 32 years in the state assessment office for Washington County.

After retiring as supervisor of assessments in 1992, Grimm became licensed to do private appraisals. After doing that for a while, he answered an ad for a part-time zoning administrator in Boonsboro in 1995.

"I worked there about 20 hours a week," Grimm said.

After two years, he tired of the drive from his Williamsport home and the structure of his hours, which were set by the town.

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In 1997, Grimm signed on as zoning administrator in Funkstown, where he works on an "as-needed" basis. That works out better for Grimm, since peak time for zoning duties is usually spring, summer and fall.

"The town clerk takes the calls, asks the questions and then refers the cases to me. If I'm needed, I come in," Grimm said. "I'm averaging about 20 hours a week, but it's my schedule."

Businesses and homeowners planning additions or changes to their properties make up the bulk of Grimm's duties. Storage buildings are the most popular form of changes going on within the town limits, Grimm said.

"There's not a lot of space to build a whole building in Funkstown, but we have had some growth," Grimm said.

For example, property along Baltimore Street - the main street through Funkstown - used to all be full lots back to the next parallel streets, Grimm said. Many of those have been split into two lots over the years, one fronting on the parallel street.

All requests for variances go through Grimm. The six-member planning and zoning commission and the three-member zoning appeals board often are called into service when there are questions about what can and cannot be done.

"People can maintain existing structures by replacing roofs or garage doors without having to come into contact with me," Grimm said.

Grimm, 69, lives in Williamsport with his wife, Judith. They do some traveling, often to visit some of their four children and six grandchildren.

A graduate of Hagerstown High School, Grimm attended 11/2 years of college, served in the military and then got a job in the assessment office in 1960. In the mid 1960s, the agency became a 100 percent state agency with offices in each county to keep things uniform statewide.

For more information about zoning requirements in Funkstown, call 301-791-0948.

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