After 300 hours of work and a month of informal hearings, the county's adequate facilities bill has been sent to the County Council for action.
The bill is scheduled to be introduced at the council's legislative session tomorrow night, aired at a public hearing Jan. 21 and voted on Feb. 3. The council is expected to make the bill emergencylegislation, so that it would take effect immediately upon passage.
The planning board will receive the proposal Tuesday morning to
ensure that the bill is consistent with the county's general plan and that the provisions for administering it are workable.
The proposal has three main features: a roads test to determine whether intersections can accommodate traffic generated by a proposed development,a school test to determine whether nearby schools will be overcrowded when new residents move into a proposed development, and an excise tax imposed on all new residential and commercial construction. The excise tax money would be used to complete major highway projects anywhere in the county.
If a proposal fails the roads test, developersmay make intersection improvements or pay a fee to proceed with their projects. But if projects fail the school test, developers must wait four years before proceeding.
The 12-member commission of developers, civic leaders, school of ficials and county employees that has worked on the proposal six hours a week for the past year contends that the proposal is so delicately balanced that it must be passed without change if it is to be effective.
Among the other bills coming before the council tomorrow night are a proposal to bring the county human rights office under the purview of the county administrator anda proposal to increase to 100 acres the size of parcels eligible forinclusion in the county's farmland preservation program.
The preservation proposal may be a moot issue. Farmland administrator John W.Mussleman told the council last month that the owners of a couple oflarge parcels in western Howard County are close to entering the program. If they do, the remaining money to purchase easements will be virtually used up, Mussleman said.