Two big development bills before the Howard County Council seem to have come up a bit short…here they are:

CB3-2019: AN ACT amending the Howard County Code by removing certain exceptions for a certificate of approval for new development in a historic district; and generally relating to historic district certificate of approvals. (Liz Walsh)

Status: Tabled. Here are the votes:

CB4-2019: AN ACT amending the Howard County Code by removing the necessary disturbance exemption for development near wetlands, streams, and steep slopes; and generally relating to the protection of wetlands, streams, and steep slopes. (Liz Walsh)

There were amendments to this bill that basically did the following (This amendment would keep the necessary disturbance exemption and require all applicants for necessary disturbances to apply in writing to DPZ). Go take a look at the bill to view the full details of all amendments.

Status: Amended and Passed: Here are the votes:

The votes have not been update on the County Council page for this bill…but it passed 5 – 0.

Liz Walsh (Councilmember District 1) put out the following statement via Facebook:

Last night the County Council voted on a number of bills and resolutions, and two of those bills came from District 1. CB-3 was tabled, and CB-4 passed with significant amendment.

At our final vote on the as-amended bill, I shared my thoughts on why CB-4 is necessary and what further work I hope we can accomplish moving forward:

“Tonight is not the first night that this Council has voted on a bill. We did that last month, and we did that to approve the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. Attached to that plan was something most important to District 1—but I’m sure has relevance to each of our districts: its flood mitigation actions.

#1 on that list of flood mitigation actions was to enforce our land development regulations, particularly as they pertain to streams, wetlands, and steep slopes. CB-4 was intended to do just a little bit more, to move out into the daylight the waiver process [and] those protections that we should be enforcing to do more to mitigate flooding.

I’m happy that my colleagues were able to work together to get this through as amended. I’m very appreciative of the effort particularly of Council Member Jung to do that. I still firmly believe we can do better and we will do better to protect the environment—to protect our streams, our wetlands, and our steep slopes. But tonight I vote ‘yes’ [to pass amended Council Bill 4].”

Thank you, thank you to everyone who testified in support of both bills and worked towards their passage. We will do more, better and together, and soon.

Here is the video she shared:

Time will tell on CB3…I will see what happens with it and if it comes back or comes back significantly changed (amended) and moves forward.

There was good news from the meeting on the 4th…Steve Hunt received 5 yes votes on this resolution (Howard County Council – CR8-2019 – Reappointing Steven Hunt to the Board of Appeals)….congrats Steve.

There are some new bills out there now…nothing ground breaking based on my quick review…but I will continue to track important legislation before the council. Have something I should be watching closely…drop me a line.

Scott E

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