We want your opinions

June 11, 2006

ISSUE:

During a forum last week, the seven candidates for Anne Arundel county executive criticized the county's approval process for development, with most calling for an overhaul of the Department of Planning and Zoning to cut red tape and the time necessary to obtain permits.

A revision of land-use laws last year was intended to establish a more usable set of rules without the inconsistencies that hampered previous regulations and led to delays in the review process.

But representatives of the development community say that has had little practical effect because the department lacks enough planners to review the thousands of proposals they receive each year, from residential subdivisions to simple house additions and decks. It is typical for a developer to wait two to three years to receive all regulatory approvals to build a subdivision. Proposed developments that are held up because of strained public facilities, such as crowded schools, are not reviewed until the infrastructure is improved or the six-year deadline for the county to make those upgrades expires, they said.

That means such a project could take a decade to get off the ground, they said. Developers argue that delays result in costs that are passed along to homebuyers and other consumers.

YOUR VIEW:

Do you agree that the county's approval and permit process for development should be overhauled? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. A selection will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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