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By TIMOTHY B. WHEELER AND JOSH MITCHELL and TIMOTHY B. WHEELER AND JOSH MITCHELL,SUN REPORTERS | April 28, 2006
Growth-management laws in more than half of Maryland's counties - including much of the Baltimore region - are being misapplied by local officials in ways that inflate housing prices and aggravate suburban sprawl, according to a study released yesterday by University of Maryland researchers. Thirteen Maryland counties, four of them in Baltimore's suburbs, have enacted laws intended to keep new development from overwhelming schools, roads and other government services, the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education reported.
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FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | January 24, 2013
Three Maryland counties have essentially violated the state's new law aimed at limiting growth on septic systems, a top O'Malley administration aide said Wednesday, adding that state officials are "weighing our options," including possible legal action or withholding of funds. Cecil, Frederick and Allegany counties did not follow the 2012 law in drawing up maps that were supposed to restrict where large housing subdivisions on septic may be built, Planning Secretary Richard E. Hall told lawmakers in Annapolis.
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NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | June 24, 1997
A proposal to speed growth in Ellicott City was in critical condition last night as a skeptical Howard County Council showed little interest in changing the county's growth law.Council Chairman Dennis R. Schrader, a North Laurel Republican, led a 90-minute session of intense questioning that indicated the proposal cannot pass on July 7, when the vote is scheduled.The proposal would more than double the speed of construction in the coming year in the county's northern region, including most of Ellicott City.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | January 19, 2012
Stop the presses: A new report finds that Maryland's 15-year-old Smart Growth law isn't working very well. That's hardly news. The state's own data have shown for years that more land continues to be developed for homes in the countryside instead of in urbanized areas, where growth is meant to go under the 1997 law. But the report issued Wednesday by the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University...
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | July 22, 1997
With the August recess looming just days away, the Howard County Council last night began a three-day crunch of meetings intended to resolve long-running battles over the county's growth law and personnel system.The proposed change to the county's growth law would speed development in Ellicott City, including the family farm of Councilman Charles C. Feaga, a West Friendship Republican, who excused himself from last night's hearing."I will not be taking part in the vote or the discussion," Feaga said last night, before leaving the room.
NEWS
July 7, 1997
THE PURPOSE of Howard County's 1991 growth law was to prevent development from sprouting unpredictably like crabgrass, overwhelming schools and roads. The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance was adopted after a housing surge swelled school populations and snarled many intersections.The law has worked like radar to alert county and school planners years before new neighborhoods fill with schoolchildren and mini-vans.Half the state's jurisdictions -- and all of the fast-growing suburban counties -- have such APFO laws in place.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | June 18, 1997
A proposed change to Howard County's growth law could speed up construction by three years of the 80-home development planned for Councilman Charles C. Feaga's farm.The possible conflict of interest has prompted him to announce plans to skip the vote on the measure.But some Ellicott City residents -- who fear the changes to the growth law would overwhelm their already crowded roads and schools -- say Feaga's announcement comes too late.They say he acted unethically by participating in the first public debate on the measure at a Monday night council meeting.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | July 23, 1997
A proposed change to Howard County's growth law -- politicked to the brink of extinction a month ago -- roared back to life last night.The proposal, which would allow hundreds of extra homes in Ellicott City in the next several years, was revived by an unlikely savior, Councilwoman Mary C. Lorsung, a west Columbia Democrat previously skeptical of the plan.But at last night's council meeting, she said careful review of the law showed that the council has no choice: In order to follow the growth law, it must correct an error in how the county had been calculating its growth targets.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | July 8, 1997
A proposal to allow hundreds of extra homes in Ellicott City over the next several years took a step closer to passage last night as the Howard County Council agreed to move forward on a less ambitious, compromise version.The council put off a final vote until July 23, two days after a new public hearing on the issue July 21.But the overall fortunes of the proposal improved greatly with last night's compromise, which cut in half the number of extra homes that would be permitted in Ellicott City.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF | July 20, 1997
Tomorrow night, Howard County Councilman Charles C. Feaga will do something he says he should have done a month ago -- get up from his council seat, publicly acknowledge a conflict of interest and let his colleagues debate a touchy issue without him.Had he done that at the council's first hearing on a proposal to ease growth restrictions and allow hundreds of new homes in Ellicott City, the proposal might have been approved quietly by now.And Feaga would...
NEWS
By Laura McCandlish and Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter | March 3, 2007
State officials have joined environmental groups in opposing two growth bills in the legislature - one that would tap into water under state parks and another that would relax the state's Smart Growth law - which proponents say would permit needed homes to be built and opponents assert would contribute to sprawl. Counting preserved land as part of a watershed to enable nearby communities draw more from their wells has prompted criticism that the bills submitted by Sen. David R. Brinkley would not be a permanent solution.
NEWS
By TIMOTHY B. WHEELER AND JOSH MITCHELL and TIMOTHY B. WHEELER AND JOSH MITCHELL,SUN REPORTERS | April 28, 2006
Growth-management laws in more than half of Maryland's counties - including much of the Baltimore region - are being misapplied by local officials in ways that inflate housing prices and aggravate suburban sprawl, according to a study released yesterday by University of Maryland researchers. Thirteen Maryland counties, four of them in Baltimore's suburbs, have enacted laws intended to keep new development from overwhelming schools, roads and other government services, the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education reported.
NEWS
By TOM PELTON and TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTER | October 23, 2005
CAMBRIDGE -- The Ehrlich administration has endorsed a proposal to build 3,200 homes, a hotel, golf course and conference center on a 1,080-acre swath of farms and wetlands leading to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Supporters say the project is sorely needed to bring people and jobs to an Eastern Shore city trying to rebound. "If you have gone from 12,500 population in 1960 to 11,000 residents today, I would stipulate you would require some kind of stimulus," said Cambridge Mayor Cleveland Rippons.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | July 2, 2005
In a victory for the Ehrlich administration, a Howard County Circuit Court judge threw out a lawsuit yesterday accusing state officials of violating Maryland's Smart Growth law with plans to widen a congested two-lane road serving the region's sprawling western suburbs. After a brief hearing on the legal issues, Judge Lenore Gelfman dismissed the lawsuit filed by 1000 Friends of Maryland and a Clarksville resident, which had sought to block state funding for the expansion of Route 32 in western Howard County.
NEWS
By Laura Cadiz and Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF | January 19, 2005
A conservation group and a Clarksville resident are suing the state in an attempt to block funding for widening Route 32 in western Howard County. In a lawsuit filed yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court, Nancy Davis, who lives near the roadway, and 1000 Friends of Maryland accuse the Board of Public Works of illegally exempting the project from the state's Smart Growth law. The lawsuit asks that a judge overturn the board's decision. "This is just completely violating the purpose of the [Smart Growth]
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | July 20, 2004
State transportation officials say Route 32 through western Howard County is so dangerous to drive that a proposal to widen it ought to be granted a rare exemption from Maryland's Smart Growth law, which bars spending on highway projects that might encourage sprawl development. The rate of rear-end collisions on the often-congested nine-mile stretch of Route 32, which links Carroll County with Annapolis, is twice the statewide average, but the overall accident rate is about 10 percent lower and the rate of fatal accidents in recent years is half that on other two-lane roads in Maryland, according to State Highway Administration figures.
NEWS
July 22, 1997
LEGISLATION BEFORE the Howard County Council could make a mockery of a growth law that has worked wonderfully to help predict and manage development since it was enacted five years ago.If the council votes tomorrow to amend the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, however, it would set a terrible precedent of choosing the arbitrary over the analytical.Chairman Dennis Schrader and Councilman Darrel Drown are backing the amendment to speed up the allocation of construction permits in Ellicott City, a proposal that stabs at the very heart of the growth law's existence.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | July 2, 2005
In a victory for the Ehrlich administration, a Howard County Circuit Court judge threw out a lawsuit yesterday accusing state officials of violating Maryland's Smart Growth law with plans to widen a congested two-lane road serving the region's sprawling western suburbs. After a brief hearing on the legal issues, Judge Lenore Gelfman dismissed the lawsuit filed by 1000 Friends of Maryland and a Clarksville resident, which had sought to block state funding for the expansion of Route 32 in western Howard County.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | July 13, 2004
Declaring that reducing traffic accidents and easing congestion trumps concerns about suburban sprawl, state transportation officials said yesterday that they would forge ahead with a long-debated widening of Route 32 through western Howard County. The state Department of Transportation is seeking an exception to Maryland's Smart Growth law to widen a nine-mile stretch of the heavily traveled highway connecting Carroll County with Annapolis, even though planning officials have acknowledged the project from Interstate 70 to Route 108 is likely to encourage more residential development in a once-rural area that has experienced major growth.
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