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Review Process

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By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF | February 6, 1997
After months of debate, Carroll residents have won a say in the development review process -- at least until October.Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission approved by a 4-to-2 margin Tuesday a proposal allowing residents to take part in subdivision advisory committee meetings with developers and county officials. The measure will receive a six-month test starting at the April advisory meeting."The process of early, meaningful dialogue between citizens and developers must begin," said Wayne Schuster, a member of Freedom Area Community Planning Council.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2014
Baltimore's police civilian review board has concerns that a new effort to garner input from the board is not meaningful, an official told a City Council committee on Wednesday night.  After years of neglect, the department has been making strides to make the board more relevant, and recently announced that it would refer major use of force investigations, such as police-involved shootings and in-custody deaths, to the board after they were completed....
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NEWS
By LARRY CARSON and LARRY CARSON,larry.carson@baltsun.com | October 12, 2008
Because development is big business in Howard County and generates tax revenue, elected officials pay attention when the industry is hurting. After complaints from builders about how long it takes to get projects through the county review process, County Executive Ken Ulman is moving to find ways to speed things up. Industry complaints are that with sales slow, credit now harder to find and engineering and construction costs rising, growing bureaucratic delays...
NEWS
By Amy Bennett and Angela Canterbury | August 7, 2013
We already know that federal regulators have undermined accountability for abuses by mortgage servicing companies. In another disturbing development, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are refusing to turn over information to members of Congress that could help them prevent such abuses from happening again. A recent study of the Independent Foreclosure Review process by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) cited significant flaws, including a lack of transparency, in the design and implementation of the process.
NEWS
By John Murphy and John Murphy,SUN STAFF | June 17, 1998
The county planning commission agreed yesterday to explore a proposal that would curtail the development review process for small businesses, saving them time and money.If the proposal wins final approval, it would trim up to two months from the review process, a bureaucratic labyrinth that takes up to a year to complete."It's a shortcut that's needed to cut out a lot of red tape," said Maurice E. Wheatley, a commission member.The Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission took no formal action yesterday.
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | January 7, 2002
Developers planning to turn the historic Oella Mill into upscale apartments are seeking a waiver to Baltimore County's development review process that would exempt them from holding a community input meeting. Community activists are angry that Forest City Residential Group, a Cleveland-based developer, is asking the county for a "limited exemption" that would also allow them to circumvent a hearing before a county zoning commissioner. In November, Forest City announced plans to turn the 19th-century mill at 840 Oella Ave., an eclectic emporium of art and antiques dealers, into apartments that would command rents of $1,400 to $3,000 per month.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | March 6, 2001
The City Council is seriously considering amending a zoning bill that could affect the private Calvert School's plans to demolish an adjacent North Baltimore apartment complex and replace it with two large playing fields and a middle school. Sheila Dixon, council president, said yesterday that there is support for the bill as proposed, which would require a public review process when a primary or secondary school plans to raze a residential building of 50 or more units. But, Dixon said, she and others believe the bill would be strengthened by changing the language and bringing it to the floor for a vote March 19. The main change, Dixon and 1st District Councilwoman Lois Garey said, would be to focus on land disturbed rather than dwellings destroyed.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff writer | June 16, 1991
Largely in response to developers' complaints that the system was slow, unresponsive and cumbersome, the past Board of County Commissioners consolidated the development review process and hired an experienced director to make it work.Several prominent Carroll developers and others whose livelihood depend on the system say they have noticed marked improvements since J. Michael Evans took charge of the then-new Department of Permits and Regulations about three years ago.Under a government reorganization plan, the new Board of Commissioners has proposed going back to the pre-Evans days by splitting development review into several departments, which developers say could nullify progress and re-create old problems.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2011
Constellation Energy Group's nuclear venture partner is asking Maryland energy regulators to be a party in the case examining the proposed merger between the Baltimore company and Chicago-based Exelon Corp. In a petition filed Thursday with the Maryland Public Service Commission, French utility EDF Group said its "interests are unique and will be affected by the proposed transaction which implicates significant issues related to reliability. " EDF owns nearly half of Constellation's nuclear power business, which operates plants in New York and two Calvert Cliffs units in Southern Maryland.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | April 16, 2002
A Baltimore County Circuit judge ruled yesterday that developers must go through the county review process before they can build two office buildings and a parking garage on a parcel that lies at the entrance to Green Spring Valley. The decision by Judge John F. Fader II came in a suit filed by William and Loretta Hirshfeld, who want to build an office complex on a 5.5-acre tract at Greenspring Valley and Falls roads. Fader ruled, based on testimony at a hearing April 4, that the Hirshfelds need to submit their plans to the administrative review process before they can sue in Circuit Court.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2013
Members of the task appointed to oversee Baltimore's beleaguered speed camera program are distancing themselves from a recommendation that the panel "restrain media access" to its deliberations. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the regional head of AAA both said they disagreed with the proposal, unveiled on the same day that Baltimore Sun journalists were barred from the Anne Arundel County headquarters of the city's new speed camera contractor, Brekford Corp.  The moves come as the city has limited the amount of public information about the speed camera program since the transition to Brekford Jan. 1, saying only that “several thousand” tickets have been issued from an undisclosed number of working cameras.
NEWS
By Carol Beck | January 15, 2013
The Baltimore City school system stands out in Maryland for its willingness to try new approaches to education. With 33 public charter schools, 14 transformation campuses and several other contractor-operated schools, the system leads the state in embracing innovation. The city school system has recently reviewed and made recommendations for 25 charter and contract schools, a process that clearly demonstrated that innovation can create better outcomes for children. But innovative models must also demonstrate that they are getting results.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | January 4, 2013
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said Friday that his officers' rushed review of speed camera tickets has produced "unacceptable" mistakes and pledged "dramatic" reform of the system, including increased staffing. "To be perfectly honest, we've made some mistakes that we shouldn't have been making in reviewing citations," Batts said in his first public comments since The Baltimore Sun found Baltimore's speed cameras have been issuing erroneous citations. "I've sat down and gone through the process, and we're making some dramatic changes.
NEWS
December 17, 2012
It's time for Baltimore to shut its speed cameras down. On Friday, the vendor that runs the city's program reported that several cameras have error rates as high as 5 percent, and it doesn't know exactly why. Those cameras are no longer issuing tickets. That's a positive step, and so are several others city officials are making or considering in response to questions about the cameras. But the only way the city is going to restore trust that its intention is to foster public safety, not to generate millions in revenue, is to turn the cameras off until it thoroughly reviews the program and makes whatever changes are necessary to ensure the tickets are accurate and fair.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | December 14, 2012
Baltimore's speed camera contractor disclosed Friday that several of the city's automated cameras have been wrongly ticketing roughly one of every 20 passing cars and trucks. Officials with Xerox State and Local Solutions told a mayoral task force studying the city's program that the five cameras have been idled and are no longer issuing $40 tickets after they found during a recent review that the devices had an error rate of 5.2 percent. Those five cameras have generated at least 15,000 tickets, city records show, translating to $600,000 in potential fines for motorists.
NEWS
By Joe Davidson, The Washington Post | October 13, 2012
President Obama has done what Congress has not: Extend whistleblower protections to national security and intelligence employees. A new presidential policy directive says employees "who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse. " With this directive, issued last week, Obama hands national security and intelligence community whistleblowers and their advocates an important victory in their frequently frustrating efforts to expand protection against retaliation for federal employees who expose agency misconduct.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | January 12, 2002
Boosting its case and telling more about how it arrived at the deal, CareFirst Blue- Cross BlueShield filed officially yesterday to become for-profit and sell itself for $1.3 billion. The formal filing triggers a complex review process - expected to take at least a year - in which insurance regulators and other officials in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Delaware will decide whether the conversion and sale is in the public interest and whether the price is fair. The regulators will conduct public hearings and employ independent experts (at CareFirst's expense)
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | August 23, 2012
The lawyer for a Catonsville community association tried unsuccessfully again Thursday to delay a Baltimore County hearing on a proposed medical office building, saying state prosecutors' requests for information on the project have raised questions about the county's development process. Attorney J. Carroll Holzer, representing the Kenwood Gardens Condominium Association, called the situation unprecedented as the administrative hearing opened. His clients oppose construction of the Southwest Physicians Pavilion planned by Whalen Properties.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | August 9, 2012
Baltimore County has hired consultants to review how it promotes police officers, amid a federal investigation into its hiring practices for minorities in public safety agencies. Officials said the contract, approved this week by the County Council, was unrelated to the probe. Under the $70,000 deal, the McLean, Va.-based Fields Consulting Group will, among other things, review the Police Department's promotional policies for corporals and sergeants, analyze job tasks and develop exams for promotions, according to the county auditor's analysis of the contract.
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