Some months ago, Howard County Council Bill 52 came up for public hearing. This bill, sponsored by the administration, would eliminate the county's Cemetery Preservation Advisory Board. This citizen board was created in 1992, at the urging of then-County Council member Vernon Gray, following the illegal demolition of graves in historic St. Mary's Cemetery (Turf Valley Overlook) during the building of houses atop and within the three-acre cemetery.
The new advisory board, to be appointed by the county executive and to serve without compensation, was charged with creating and maintaining a current cemetery inventory and map, and with providing continuing oversight of our cemeteries to insure their preservation. Local planning and zoning laws were also amended to prevent the illegal destruction of cemeteries during development.