The Anne Arundel County Council approved a moratorium on rezoning applications last night for all but the most northern areas of the county.
County Executive Janet S. Owens introduced a bill last month to freeze rezoning applications in about two-thirds of the county until the council completes a comprehensive rezoning by next year. Her bill, which was approved last night, was amended so that the moratorium will continue until small-area planning committees establish new guidelines.
The measure, which passed 6-1 with John J. Klocko III voting against it, prevents the county's land-use office from accepting applications for rezonings dated after March 31.
"My vote was strictly procedural," Klocko said. "It is a good bill, but I would have preferred that the amended bill be put up to public debate."
The measure will not affect Brooklyn Park, Glen Burnie and the Pasadena peninsula. Zoning in the northeastern section of the county is to be updated in 2001, and the council is expected to consider a moratorium for that area next year, county officials said.
Cliff Roop, a Republican councilman from the 5th District, said the council doesn't want businesses to think the county government is hostile to development.
"The moratorium is a routine matter. The county introduces a moratorium whenever it performs a comprehensive rezoning," said Democratic Councilwoman Barbara Samorajczyk of Annapolis.
The County Council re-evaluates zoning designations countywide about once a decade. It imposes moratoriums in the months before the re-evaluations so that landowners will not rush to seek rezonings before the council completes its work.
A goal of the county's comprehensive rezoning effort is to enact into law a long-term land-use plan the council approved in 1997.
The Homebuilders Association of Maryland complained about the moratorium last night, saying it would last too long and cover too much of the county. The moratorium would not prevent construction on land that already has the appropriate zoning, officials said.
Trying to update the county's zoning map as individual landowners continue to apply for minor zoning changes would be like trying to hit a moving target, County Council Chairman Daniel E. Klosterman Jr. has argued.
Pub Date: 3/02/99