Council hearing to focus on dropping exemption

December 14, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

The County Council will hold a public hearing tonight on a bill that would drop an exemption from the county's critical areas law for subdivisions on the Broadneck peninsula.

The 24 subdivisions had been exempted by the law -- which restricts development along the shoreline and other environmentally sensitive areas -- when it was first written in 1988 because although the lot lines had been approved, developers were placed on a waiting list for water and sewer service during the early 1980s and could not build.

In June, the state Critical Areas Commission invalidated sections of the county's program, such as those that gave county planners broad discretion to grant exceptions to the regulations. The commission gave the county 90 days to correct the problems.

The County Council passed a revised critical areas law in August that included the exemption for the Broadneck subdivisions. The state commission approved the revised law last month on the condition that the exemption be removed.

County officials expressed concern that eliminating the exemption for those subdivisions would, in effect, eliminate property lines for the subdivisions, some of which already have been built.

Michael Leahy, the county's land use coordinator, said an amendment will be introduced specifying that the county will continue to recognize the existence of the lot lines in the Broadneck peninsula. County officials hope that will avoid any legal problems caused by ending the exemption.

The proposed ordinance also will specify the revised critical areas law's effective date. Because the bill is being introduced as an emergency ordinance, it becomes effective immediately on passage, provided it is approved by five of the seven council members.

Among other bills the council will consider are:

* A proposal to sell the Stanton Community Center to the City of Annapolis for $1.

* A proposal to sell a half-acre in Lothian to the Mount Calvery United Methodist Church for $1.

* An ordinance creating a county Local Governance Board for the Reform of Services to Children and Families. The 13-member board would bring together professionals in the health, education and socials services fields to coordinate services in various agencies for children and families.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the council chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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