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.