County Council Update

Greetings!  The members of the Baltimore County Council are grateful for the opportunity to update the County Bar on the activities of our County’s legislative body.  Your seven member County Council serves as the independent Legislative Branch of County government.  The Council meets year-round, generally in bi-monthly Legislative Sessions (held at night) and bi-monthly Work Sessions (held during the day).  All proceedings are open to the public, and the Legislative Session is broadcast on BCTV (Comcast & Verizon channel 25).  The Council’s Website at www.baltimorecountycouncil.org provides helpful information as well.Picture14

At its Legislative Session on July 7, 2014, the County Council approved the following items which may be of interest to members of the County Bar:

Bill 41-14 – Panhandle Lots – this Bill prohibits panhandle lots in the Honeygo Area.  Previously, the development standards for the H and H1 (Honeygo Area) Overlay Districts, particularly the building and site design standards, permitted panhandle lots if the underlying zoning of the land is D.R.1, no more than two lots share a driveway, and the lots exceed 30,000 square feet in area.  Bill 41-14 repealed this language and now prohibits all panhandle lots in the Honeygo Area, including as part of a minor subdivision.

Resolution 51-14 – Stormwater Remediation Fee – Bill 20-13 created the Stormwater Management Fund and established the Stormwater Remediation Fee pursuant to a State mandate. The Executive Order that implemented the statute allows for a reduction of the fee for non-residential, non-institutional property, including commercial properties such as office buildings, hotels, and retail establishments, industrial properties such as warehouses and factories; maritime uses; recreational properties; and apartment complexes, if these businesses have provided an on-site or off-site system, facility, service, or activity that reduces the quantity or improves the quality of stormwater discharged from the property.  Resolution 51-14 requests the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability to review the application of the Fee to these types of properties, with particular emphasis on the adequacy of the formula for the reduction of fees for such properties.  Specifically, the Resolution seeks to determine if the formula is permitting meaningful reductions in the amount of the Fee, while also accomplishing the objective of reducing the maximum daily load of pollutants from stormwater runoff.  The Department’s report and recommendations must be sent to the Council by February 1, 2015.