… Measure introduced at County Council …
By Steve Schuster
Fifth District County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson and Perry Hall, has introduced legislation that would require community input meetings for developments to be “more convenient to the residents they will impact,” according to a release Marks issued this week.
Community input meetings are public meetings to solicit feedback for proposed development projects.
Under Mark’s proposed legislation, priority would be given for those meeting to be held within a certain mile radius of proposed developments.
Within the Urban-Rural Demarcation Line — the most urbanized part of Baltimore County — the meetings would have to be held within three miles of the development project.
Outside the Urban-Rural Demarcation Line, the distance would be eight miles, according to the release.
Typically, Community Input Meetings are held at schools and libraries. This legislation would expand the list of locations to include houses of worship, community centers and other places of assembly.
“People shouldn’t have to drive out of their way to attend a development meeting that affects their neighborhood,” said Marks in the release.
“We should make the development process as convenient as possible to the public,” Marks said.
“I think it’s a good bill,” said 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents Catonsville and Arbutus.
Quirk said he and fellow councilmembers Todd Huff of the 3rd District and Vicki Almond of the 2nd are co-sponsors of the measure, which was introduced at the council’s Jan. 18 meeting.
“(The bill) makes good sense because if there are issues coming before the community, it’s good to have as much input and participation of people that live close by,” Quirk said.
“If needed, we could still hold (meetings) in Towson, but a better location would be within a few mile radius of wherever the issue is happening,” he said.
Loch Raven Community Activist Donna Spicer says she supports the bill.
“It is always preferred to have some common sense added to the law,” Spicer said in an e-mail response.
A complete list of all pending legislation before the council is available at:http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/countycouncil/legislation/07pending.html.