City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

Baltimore & Region

October 04, 2005

Balto. County to post builders' waiver requests

The Baltimore County Council passed a bill yesterday to make it easier for residents to keep tabs on development proposals.

The measure requires the county to post on its Web site requests for waivers from certain county rules and the outcomes of those requests. The waivers could involve county rules on issues such as building height, how close a house may be built to a stream and how much forest may be removed from a site.

The bill, which passed 6-0 and takes effect in 45 days, was passed partly in response to complaints that some waivers have been granted without the public knowing that they were up for consideration.

"It's going to open things up, as far as making more information accessible to the public," said Council Chairman Joseph Bartenfelder. "People shouldn't be blindsided as much as they have been in the past."

Many decisions on waivers are based on technicalities, without public input, and the bill passed yesterday would not change that process, county planning officials have said. Community activist Donna Spicer, who supports wider public notification of county decisions, said the bill did not go far enough because it did not set a posting deadline.

But Bartenfelder said the bill was a "good start" and could be amended later.

In a separate move, the council approved Bartenfelder's request to the Planning Department to create master plans for the Overlea-Fullerton and Carney areas.

Josh Mitchell

Baltimore County: Randallstown

3 juveniles arrested in stabbing of teen

Three juveniles were arrested yesterday in a stabbing Sunday evening that left a 16-year-old boy in critical condition, Baltimore County police said. Andre Vass was walking about 8:15 p.m. in the 3700 block of Offutt Road in Randallstown, a few blocks from his home in the 9000 block of Samoset Road, when he was approached by three people, police said. After an argument, one person stabbed Vass in the back with what police think was a knife. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Police did not identify or release the ages of the juveniles arrested but said they are expected to be charged as adults with first-degree assault and attempted murder.

Baltimore: Canton

City officials close Katrina shelter

The temporary shelter and referral service set up at the Clarence H. Du Burns Arena last month for victims of Hurricane Katrina closed yesterday after city officials said the number of people seeking help had dwindled. The center connected 1,100 people affected by the storm to schools, housing and doctors, said Reggie Scriber, Baltimore's deputy commissioner of housing. The city is still determining the effort's cost, he said. This past weekend, the number of people asking for help dropped to five, Scriber said.

John Fritze

Southeast

Exit 58 on I-95 set to reopen today

The exit ramp from northbound Interstate 95 onto Dundalk Avenue was set to reopen at 5 a.m. today, according to state transportation officials. Exit 58 had been closed as part of the two-year repair project for the 22 bridges along I-95 between the Fort McHenry Tunnel Toll Plaza and the I-95/I-895 merge.

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