Howard County Blog

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

E-Mail from LWVHC

E-Mail received from The League of Women Voters of Howard County

General Assembly Standing Bill and Draft Public Process
Sunday, March 30, 2008 8:49:46 PM
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Board Members: HB246
As individual members please contact Howard County's three Senators Kasemeyer, Kittleman and Robey either phone or email regarding HB246. Here is the State League testimony.
(Attachments successfully scanned for viruses.)
Attachment 1: HB 246 - Charter Counties - Land Use Appeals - Standing.doc (application/msword)
Senator Kasemeyer phone is 410 841 3653, Kittleman 410 841-3671 and Senator Robey 410 841-3572.
This Bill was amended and passed the House of Delegates 131-7. The hearing is April 1 in the Senate Education, Health and Environment Committee.
AS amended HB 246 is enabling legislation which would allow the 7 charter counties to adopt local legislation providing the level of standing for their citizen in land use cases. The Howard County Chamber of Commerce in a written statement to its members has asked the bill be amended to delete Howard County.
As State Legislation, the State League has the responsibility for testimony.
Task Force on Public Engagement in Land Use : Draft testimony public meeting 4/ 10 at 7pm
League representative on the Task Force is Ada Bohorfoush. Please consider and add to at the Board meeting the following draft testimony.
The League of Women Voters of Howard County supports:
>Consistent availability of Department of Planning and Zoning technical staff reports for Planning Board, Hearing Examiner and Board of Appeals cases. At a minimum the staff report should be available to the public two weeks prior to the date of the hearing.
> Posting of property. All properties under consideration for a proposed land use change in comprehensive zoning should be posted.
> Mail notification should be made to adjacent property owners as well as to known community or homeowners associations for all properties proposed for a land use change during comprehensive zoning.
> The comprehensive zoning process should have defined limits and deadlines
for submittal of changes to both land use and regulation changes. Deadlines should be identified for property owners and the Department of Planning and Zoning as well as for County Council members.
> Information regarding a proposed change of land use should be clear, map identified and readily available at least two weeks prior to the Planning Board's consideration of any comprehensive issue.
> The County Council should amend its operating rules to provide a minimum 120 day time period for comprehensive zoning adoption or master plan adoption.
> The public's right to be heard should be protected and encouraged. Rules of procedure
should allow clear and consistent opportunities for the public to be recognized.


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