Anne Arundel County's police officers would have one more weapon in their battle against prostitutes on the northern end of Ritchie Highway under a measure County Councilman George Bachman, D-Linthicum, plans to introduce tonight.
The bill would allow officers to issue citations and arrest prostitutes if they refuse to move along when requested by an officer.
Mr. Bachman said the ordinance is aimed at curbing an increasing problem with prostitutes who congregate in convenience store parking lots along Ritchie Highway, particularly near Fifth and Sixth streets in Brooklyn Park.
Mr. Bachman said that he has ridden along twice with uniformed officers assigned to arrest prostitutes and has discovered there is little an officer can do to keep prostitutes from walking the streets.
"If they're at the 7-Eleven, they can just say, 'I'm waiting for a call from someone at the pay phone,' and there's nothing the officer can do," he said.
He said the issue has been a problem for about two years, especially in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Heights and Belle Grove.
"I just want police to have one more tool to fight this thing," Mr. Bachman said.
The council also is to hold public hearings on bills to give developers flexibility in paying for water service and to update county zoning regulations.
County Executive Robert R. Neall is asking for the change in the way developers pay for water and sewer service in their projects to make the county more attractive to industries that would create new jobs.
The proposed legislation would allow developers to pay the utility fees in installments over 15 years. The entire amount must be paid in full under current law.
The requirement has caused cash-flow problems for many builders and made Anne Arundel County a less attractive place to build, developers argued.
The zoning bill makes technical changes in the wide range of regulations and represents the first major modifications to the county's zoning law since 1985. It defines and specifies requirements for rooming houses and hotels, recycling facilities, mulch and composting heaps, churches and retail advertising signs.
The bill would expand the zoning districts where churches may be built, allowing them in commercial-office zones and multifamily residential districts.
The council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.