Harford bill might restart comprehensive rezoning

April 05, 2006|By JUSTIN FENTON | JUSTIN FENTON,SUN REPORTER

Harford County's comprehensive rezoning - stalled by an executive veto last month - could get restarted under a measure introduced last night in the County Council.

The council brought up a bill drafted by County Executive David R. Craig, which would re-examine zoning-change requests that had been voted on by the council. Craig had rejected the council's heavily amended zoning bill, but left officials in a quandary because the zoning code does not offer guidance in the event of a veto.

Under the measure introduced last night, no new applications for land changes would be accepted, and the council would hold at least one more public hearing to discuss rezoning concerns.

The bill will first face its own public hearing next month, and some council members said they were wary of the administration's idea. The council could reject the bill with four out of six votes.

"We're in a position where we need to go back through the process and basically start it over," said Council President Robert S. Wagner. He said his desire is to have the next council take up the 15-month process after the election.

In Harford, the rezoning process takes place every eight years and has traditionally been fraught with disagreements, and legal concerns had stalled progress on how to revive the process.

Last summer, the council vowed not to accept campaign contributions during rezoning, which has added to the complexity in the discussion over how - or whether - to restart the process during an election season.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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