Statewide Planning Proposal Draws Fire

Council Asks Legislators To Assess 2020 Plan

January 27, 1991|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer

The County Council wants Harford's General Assembly delegation to determine what effects a proposal to establish statewide planning standards and a proposal to reform the way the state taxes residents couldhave on Harford.

But Harford's state delegates and senators say it's too early to tell because legislation on the proposals has not yet been introduced in the General Assembly. The 1991 session began Jan. 9.

The two proposals were the main topics of conversation when Harford's seven-member legislative delegation met for 1 hours Monday withHarford council members to discuss county concerns in the assembly this session.

Bills proposing the two measures are expected to be introduced in the 1991 General Assembly session.

The land use proposal comes from a report prepared by the Governor's Commission on Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region -- also known as the 2020 Commission. It proposes creating statewide planning standards.

Planning standards currently are set up by each county. Some counties, such as Harford, have developed master plans to set aside areas for developmentin order to regulating where growth can occur.

In addition, the commission has recommended giving the state planning department the power to approve or reject mandatory land use plans submitted by counties or municipalities.

Council Member Theresa M. Pierno, D-DistrictC, told Harfordstate legislators she thinks the restrictions in the 2020 Commission's proposal are too stringent.

"There's a need for some regional planning and a need for all counties to have a master land use plan, but I am concerned the state was taking too much authority," said Pierno. "But it also bothers me when I hear the attitude we should just kill it."

Council President Jeffrey D. Wilson compared the proposal to a "one-size-fits-all men's robe in a department store that fits no one." He, too, wants a softening of the proposal.

But Sen. William H. Amoss, D-District 35A, and Sen. Habern W. Freeman, D-District 34, disagreed. They recommended Harford pass its own adequate public facilities law instead of fighting for changes in the commission's proposal.

The legislators and council members also discussed proposals from the Linowes Commission report which has recommended raising more than $800 million in new state taxes by increasing taxes on wealthy Marylanders and hiking the state sales tax from to 5 percent from 5 percent.

James M. Harkins, R-District 35A, was among those delegation members skittish about tax increases. "When the people elected us, they made a strong statement that we need better management with what we've got."


District 34 Delegates

Rosemary Hatem Bonsack (Dem.), delegation chair;House Environmental Matters Committee;

Mary Louise Preis (Dem.), House Judiciary Committee

David R. Craig (Rep.), Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee

District 35A Delegates

James M. Harkins (Rep.), House Judiciary Committee

Donald C. Fry (Dem.), House Ways and Means Committee

House delegation members' office mailing address: Room 326, Thomas Hunter Lowe Office Building, Annapolis,Md., 21401-1991. The main telephone line is 841-3289 or 1-800-492-7122, Ext. 3289.

District 34 Senate

Habern W. Freeman (Dem.); Judicial Proceedings Committee

Office: 202 Senate Office Building, 841-3158

District 35A Senate

William H. Amoss (Dem.); Budget and Taxation Committee; chair, subcommittee on public safety, transportation; Economic Development and Natural Resources; senate chair, joint subcommittee on pensions; member subcommittee on capital budget; member Joint Budget and Audit Committee; Joint Committee on Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas; Joint Committee on Medical Assistance Program; Joint Committee on Spending Affordability; Executive Helicopter Advisory Committee.

District office: P.O. Box 496, Fallston, Md., 21047, 838-7555.

Annapolis office: 401 Senate Office Building, 841-3603.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.