More fees sought for zoning changes

HARFORD DIGEST

April 13, 2008

In addition to the $100 filing fee, property owners seeking a change of zoning in Harford County will pay an additional $700 to cover the county's cost for processing the request.

The County Council unanimously approved the fee last week. During the last round of zoning requests, nearly 350 residents applied for a change, many of them with little hope of success, officials said.

"A $100 fee does not begin to cover the costs in time and effort for the planning staff," said Councilman Dion F. Guthrie. "This new fee will give us the dollars we need to compensate for the work. It may also cut off a lot of frivolous applicants."

The fee, which takes effect in 60 days, will pay for the technical assessment process, as well as environmental and infrastructure reviews.

Meeting to address changes on road

The Harford County Department of Public Works, Division of Highways and Water Resources will hold a public meeting to discuss proposed modifications to Tabernacle Road at 6 p.m. April 23 in the Department of Public Works conference room, 212 S. Bond St., Bel Air.

Those needing disability-related accommodations should call Hudson Myers at 410-638-3548 (TTY users call Maryland Relay) by Wednesday.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting, but who wants to make a comment can send written comments to H. Hudson Myers III, Deputy Director of Public Works, 212 S. Bond St., Third Floor, Bel Air, 21014, or by e-mail at hhmyers@harfordcountymd.gov.

Toll lanes to be discussed April 30

The Friends of Harford will sponsor a meeting to discuss the express toll lanes and general purpose lanes on I-95, proposed by the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 30 at the Joppa library branch, 665 Towne Center Drive.

Melissa Williams, planning manager for MdTA, will present three alternatives for widening I-95 and the various options for altering intersections.

The MdTA's proposals include: no build (no change to existing lanes); general purpose lanes (adding one or two general purpose lanes in each direction); and express toll lanes (adding two express toll lanes in each direction up to Route 543, and one general purpose lane in each direction from Route 543 to Route 22).

If either build proposal is chosen, interchanges will have to be modified, and the Park & Ride at I-95 and Route 152 will need to be relocated.

Residents, commuters, community organizations and others are urged to attend this informational meeting.

Those wishing to speak are asked to submit their questions to comments@friendsofharford.com.

Bike to Work event planned for May 16

Harford County will hold the annual "Bike to Work & Briefcase Challenge" from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. May 16 at 220 S. Main St., Bel Air.

Commuters will celebrate bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work.

The day will begin with a bike rally from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., where participants can join the bicycle parade, get a Bike to Work T-shirt and win prizes. Food and entertainment will be included.

The Briefcase Challenge will be held as a competition among area employers to see who has the most biking participants.

Information: 410-638-3389.

County named `Tree City USA'

For the fifth consecutive year, Harford County has been named a "Tree City USA" community by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to community forestry.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

Harford County has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community by having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.

County urges per mits for homeown ers with pools

The Harford County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits reminds homeowners with swimming pools that all pools, both in and above ground, that hold more than 24 inches of water require both building and electrical permits in order to be installed.

This regulation also applies to inflatable pools.

Existing pools must have their enclosures properly maintained according to Harford County codes, including fences, gates latches and alarms.

Contractors are also reminded that the changes to the new Building Code go into effect April 21.

A complete description of all regulations governing swimming pools and their installation is available online at http:--www.harfordcountymd.gov/dilp/PoolRequirements.html.

Information: Building Services, 410-638-3366; Electrical Services, 410-638-3363.

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