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February 6, 2019

  It has been a long, long road trying to get higher developer fees charged in Howard County to increase their contribution to school enrollment. The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) task force, worked for over a year, and requested the change. The Bill was put in late in 2017 and it did not get enough support, with many promising "next year", they would make it happen. 

   This year, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary...

January 18, 2019

For a long time, and especially over the past two years, Howard County advocates for slowing down development for the sake of improving public services, especially crowded schools, have fought hard to get the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) strengthened. The changes get fully implemented soon, after serious delays. During the Council considerations of better school capacity recognition and some longer delays, there...

January 10, 2019

There is much talk about Howard County current local bill 3-19, regarding increasing impact fees to developers. Many realize that our County has very low fees compared to other growing counties, by high factors; however, there is much disagreement about who ends up "paying" this fee. This topic has been near and dear to my heart for some time. During the APFO Task Force work, I, and others, attempted to address a fee increase m...

October 17, 2018

There has been a lot of talk in the County Executive and Council races regarding development and how it is approved, regulated, and managed in this County. The Civic work I have been doing for almost a decade has informed me on this topic and I could talk about it for days, but I want to go over some of the comments I am hearing that really make me cringe.

1. "The Council doesn't do much zoning." 


September 30, 2018

This Blog post has been edited, October, 2018, with more detail, due to mischaracterizations of this story, making the rounds, in this election cycle.

I first got involved in civic work around 2010, and not unlike many others, because something was going to happen next door. The Normandy Shopping Center was going to be redeveloped into a mixed use center with a large apartment building in the back. The problem we had was that, a...

August 30, 2018

Update:  September 17 - Since last blogging the County has presented more information at new meetings and I believe they have answered more questions, provided more data and been convincing that the full County EC Flood Mitigation Plan should be implemented. See testimony I gave at the the link below for an update, and click on Council Bill 62 (C), (x) Lisa Markovitz (third time name appears down the list), on the chart of avai...

August 5, 2018


village green/town² Blog

(guest blogger request/reprint with permission)

I have not led a perfect life. I didn’t do particularly well in school. My first marriage crumbled. I had extreme difficulty making ends meet during my years as a single parent. My house is not ready for visitors at all times, shall we say...

July 27, 2018

This morning’s Council legislative session was a great one. I am beyond thrilled that the moratorium on development for one year, in two watersheds in Ellicott City passed unanimously, without grandfathering. 😊

I am also pleased the Bill to move the new courthouse project passed. There has been a lot of concern expressed about the new courthouse project. Some deal with fiscal budgeting priorities because of this expensive long-...

July 5, 2018

I put up a blog post in May about the upcoming legislation that annually updates the number of allowed new residential units in development, by region, across the County. At the public hearing on this issue, I testified that the Council should be using this chart and annual legislation as a development tool for planning because in APFO, allocations is TEST NUMBER ONE, and the wait to obtain allocations is unlimited.

I suggested...

May 9, 2018

Many understand that there is a regulation called (APFO), the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance that has tests in it to regulate timing of development. Many are familiar with the fact that schools being overcapacity temporarily halts nearby development. What many do not understand is that the School test is the second test in APFO, and the first test is for “allocations” and there is a lot of confusion about those.

In PlanHow...

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