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Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO)

 

Housing development must be in compliance with the County General Plan and adhere to the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO).  The APFO was originally enacted in 1992, and was supposed to ensure that development would not outpace County services.  Under current APFO, fire and emergency service availability, and high school capacity, are not considered, and elementary or middle schools have to be at 115% of capacity before a four-year building moratorium is imposed.  The normal development process usually takes three years, so in effect our current law only gives the County an extra year of breathing room. The County needs more time to catch up with development.  Fire and rescue availability, and high school capacity, need to considered; and any moratorium needs to kick in at 100%, not 115%, of capacity.

News

Jim Walsh's School Safety Initiative Proposal

JIM WALSH PROPOSES SCHOOL SAFETY INITIATIVE WOODBINE, MD March 27, 2018 Jim Walsh, Republican candidate for Howard County council, today announced a new proposal to address student safety in Howard County schools. Walsh’s proposal calls for using best available technology practices, including bullet-resistant glass and doors, communications systems, alarms, security cameras that can be monitored by police, and other features designed to stop an attacker in their tracks. The estimated cost for installing this technology in every Howard County school would be approximately $40 million.  Walsh proposes to fund the security enhancements through private donations to a charitable foundation to be established. “This is an issue that is too important to let partisan politics get in the way of a solution”, Walsh said.  He also explained the advantage to Howard County residents of using a charitable foundation for funding:  “Deductions for contributions to the foundation will not be limited by the recently-enacted tax act, which sets a cap on deductions for state and local taxes.  With roughly 100,000 households in Howard County, full funding for implementing the proposal could be achieved if each household contributed $80 per year for five years.” For more information, please contact Jim Walsh at: 443-857-0653 jimwalsh4hoco@gmail.com Authority: Citizens for Jim Walsh, Teresa Sanders, Treasurer

A Vision, A Plan

A VISION, A PLAN Howard County moved from the shadows of Baltimore City and County in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s with Jim Rouse’s vision for an inclusive community between the Baltimore and Washington D.C. corridors.  Howard County has become recognized nationally for its quality of life by all who are fortunate to call it home. It is important that the decisions made today provide for an orderly process as the county moves forward.  The Howard County Council members serve as the County’s Zoning Board; thus, it is important that its members view the county as one county and make decisions that represent all residents and districts.  Having served on the County Appeals Board for 10 years and as a member of the Charter Review Commission, I offer “A Vision, A plan” to you, the voters, if elected to represent District 5.   TAXES - "Government funding" is your tax dollars. I will fight to hold the line on taxes, be a responsible steward, respectful of your hard-earned money, and work to reduce taxes wherever possible. PUBLIC SAFETY - Police, fire, and rescue services are a high priority and must be responsibly budgeted and staffed in order to meet the growing needs of the county.  EDUCATION - Continue raising the educational standards for Howard County’s nationally top-ranked public schools to achieve the best results for your taxpayer dollars.  Recruit and retain the best and brightest educators. OPEN SPACE – Preserve and maintain current open space and work to incorporate more open space with additional acquisition of land for community parks. DEVELOPMENT – Development continues to be a significant area of concern with residents.  The county is currently faced with overcrowded schools at all levels, major traffic congestion, and an infrastructure insufficient to meet future demands. I support orderly and responsible development after adequate infrastructure has been built and ensure that future development does not outpace the county’s ability to adequately support it.

The Principles of Howard County Republicans

The Principles of Howard County Republicans: 1. In keeping with principles of our Founding Fathers, Howard County Republicans believe in individualliberty, public safety, and support policies of limited taxation and responsible government. 2. We, as Republicans, support equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity for all. 3. Howard County Republicans respect the principles and values that have made our county aprosperous and desirable place to live and raise a family. 4. Howard County Republicans support all family values that promote a strong cohesive community. 5. Howard County Republicans believe every child should have access to an excellent public educationthat is challenging and attuned to the individual student to promote critical thinking, invention,community cohesion, and a rewarding career. 6. Republicans believe in self-sufficiency while we recognize the need in Howard County for a limitedpublic safety net. We believe all people should be afforded the opportunity to improve their quality oflife through education, jobs, business opportunities, and community support. 7. Republicans support public policies that encourage economic growth, provide opportunities forindividuals to succeed, and promote local businesses in Howard County. 8. We support responsible growth and the preservation of open spaces while respecting the privateproperty rights of all Howard County citizens. 9. We believe that good Howard County Government collectively respects individualism and theresponsibilities of freedom while promoting community. 10. Republicans believe all should adhere to the rule of law.

Jim's Eight Takes on the HoCo APFO Bill

There are 8 proposed amendments to CB1-2018 (APFO). Here's my take on all eight: #1 - Limit the redistribution of residential units to final developments plans that are not using CEPPAs (community enhancements, programs and public amenities) - SUPPORT #2 - Allow higher capacity limits for individual schools where such school's region is under 100% capacity or, in the case of high schools, the region is under 105% capacity - SUPPORT WITH MODIFICATION: The amendment limits the capacity increase to 5% for individual elementary and middle schools, but has no limit to the increase for high schools. I believe the 5% increase should apply to high schools as well. #3 - Create a process to balance schools and affordable housing - OPPOSE: The process strikes me as quite subjective and potentially opens a huge loophole to APFO. #4 - Increase re-testing provisions for school capacity from 3 years to 6 years - SUPPORT WITH MODIFICATION: I believe doubling the testing period in one feel swoop is too drastic. I support an increase to 4 years now. #5 - Modify roads test provisions - MOSTLY OPPOSE: this amendment has four major components (1) increase the limit for the lowest level of review from 50 peak hour trips to 99 (NO); (2) decrease the area limits for traffic analysis from 2 miles to 1.5 miles (NO); (3) changing the intersections to be analyzed from signalized intersections to intersection of two major collector or higher level roads (NO); (4) develop a procedure where the DPZ may extend or reduce the traffic impact study area after a meeting with the developer (YES, BUT, there needs to be some process to allow community input in any such decision). #6 - Delays application of the capacity test for high schools for 4 years - OPPOSE #7 - Lowers school capacity limits for elementary schools to 100% (from 105%), middle schools to 105% (from 110%) and high schools to 110% (from 115%) - SUPPORT WITH MODIFICATION: I consistently testified in favor of racheting down the limits over time. I believe this provision should have an effective date 4 years in the future. #8 - Include police, fire and health care in APFO analysis - SUPPORT WITH MODIFICATION: I have consistently testified in favor of expanding APFO to police and fire; they are provided by County government. Howard County General Hospital is not a government agency, and we should not cede government decisions to a non-governmental agency, so the health care component should be deleted.

Howard County Council legislative work session on the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance

I just got home from the Howard County Council legislative work session on the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The first part of the work session was a review of the Economic and Fiscal Analysis report prepared by the Economic Development Authority https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/…/HoCo%20APFO%20Presentation%….. The authors did not do a good job in explaining their report, and admitted to confusion about Howard County budgeting procedures in their fiscal analysis. Several Council members (including Greg Fox) and, later, Board of Education members, criticized the report for focusing on lost revenues without considering cost savings.

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