(Note: This article was posted to the HCCA list-serv on Monday, January 7th by HCCA president, Cathy Hudson)
I don’t need to tell many of you that it has been a few very busy months for legislation. All in all, I think that not only many citizens testified and made good suggestions, but that the council and administration did a good job in listening and responding to the citizen’s concerns and helping to work towards good solutions. Many of the bills that were passed (or in one case tabled again) reflect the good dialogue that has occurred. Here are the results of some of the bills.
The county council tabled the CEF enabling legislation (CB-36), with no discussion, for another month.
Ken Ulman’s veto of the growth tiers legislation was moved by Greg Fox to come off the table, but the attempt died because of the lack of a second. (Mary Kay Sigaty was absent because of the flu) Thus, the veto was sustained.
The open/closed chart and the housing allocation chart were passed this month. Jen Terasa put in an amendment that would limit the number of allocations in the growth and revitalization areas in any 1 planning area, and that was amended so that no more than 33% of the total allocations could be put into any one of the planning areas. (so that all the growth and revitalization allocations couldn’t go in one area and swamp the schools and infrastructure) Courtney Watson’s amendment passed that will help everyone better understand where we are with housing units (see chart below). It notes that in addition to yearly allocations that can be granted, there are also 3,613 units that have accumulated over the last few years that can be built when the economy improves as they have already been granted allocations. (but the projects have been given waivers and placed on hold because of the economy)
The legislation to enable going after a grant for the project to build housing for the homeless did pass, but not after all the council persons present protested the lack of transparency by the administration and that the community wasn’t brought into the project earlier. As a result, Jen Terasa did vote against it. The North Laurel community presented good testimony on this bill.
And finally, a bill to sell development rights from the Belmont Property to help raise money for Belmont’s upkeep was passed with administration amendments to help clarify the intent of the bill that were suggested by HCCA member, Dr Dale Schumacher.
Once again kudos to all of you who participated in one way or another on these bills-you help to ensure good government in Howard County.
Cathy Hudson, President
Howard County Citizen’s Association
Housing Allocations Chart as amended, showing the number of housing unit allocations that have been granted, but not used (and built up over the last few years=3613 units)
|Growth and Revitalization||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200||1,200|
|NOTE: In a given year, no more than 35 percent of the allocations available in the Growth and|
|Revitalization region may be granted to projects in a particular Planning Area, as established|
|by PlanHoward 2030, Map 6-2 “Designated Place Types”.|
|DOWNTOWN COLUMBIA ALLOCATIONS BASED ON ZONING PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS**|
|**Implementation of the residential component of the Downtown Columbia Plan will extend beyond the horizon of this housing unit|
|allocation chart. Includes rolling average from previously adopted allocations chart to maintain downtown revitalization phasing|
|progression as adopted in the Downtown Columbia Plan. Note that 390 allocations have already been granted in 2013 allocation year.|
|Including those and the allocations above the total adds up 5,500 units.|
|Tentative Allocations Minus Permanent Allocations|
|As of January 2, 2013|