Our meeting starts off with a nice recognition of the Linganore High School football team. Billy votes against the whole agenda, so can’t he just leave now? We have four nice public commenters. Many are present to talk about the amendments to the Forest Ordinance Bill. Melanie Cox, of the League of Women Voters, also commends the council for putting the hearing concerning DRRAs back on the agenda. The league has researched this issue, and believes this bill is a good way to balance growth in our community.
Next up is a rather lengthly discussion from Carson Bise on impact fees. You can read the whole report if you like. Basically, elementary and high schools will be severely overcrowded by 2026-27 if we aren’t careful.
Most of the council members have thoughtful comments and questions, but not Kirby! He seems to want to argue over the cost of the study, then doesn’t. Then he tells us that WE should have planned better for all this growth!
Is he actually admitting fault, or trying to pretend he hasn’t been on the board/council since 2010? He was a significant part of the “we” who should have done this hypothetical planning. Anyhoo, Kirby doesn’t think it’s much of a crisis yet. And, we have all these homes in the pipeline and all these homes were in the pipeline in the past, so all’s good?
Billy wants to know if FCPS is going to redistrict the whole county any time soon, you know because that’s such an easy, uncomplicated process! So, Urbana folks don’t be surprised when Billy starts advocating that your kids be shipped up to Thurmont!
John Mathias, our esteemed county attorney, is here to make a presentation on the legal side of DRRAs. He explains their history, court cases, and implications for our county. He tells of a certain court case which ruled that you couldn’t change the type of development once vesting had occurred. Mostly because it isn’t fair to the people who already invested in said development. It seems as though Mr. Mathias was sent there to explain to some people how to do their job. More power to him! Tony has much to say, but we are to the point where his voice is just a buzzing noise, so you’ll have to figure all that out on your own.
Lastly, before the council breaks, Jessica and Tony introduce some amendments to the County Executive’s Forest Ordinance Bill. With input from the community they came up with some compromises. The amendments pass, with Billy and Kirby voting no. It will now go back to a public hearing.
Bud then moves to have his forest bill removed from consideration. He tells us that he wishes there was more discussion before hand, before he felt the need to write his own bill. He states that compromise is good for the community and the country. And, we would really like to know, Bud, when things all broke down. We are still perplexed and angry over all that’s gone down lately. Bill is removed with Billy abstaining and Kirby voting no.
The council then goes into closed session, we hear that more shenanigans went down with the DRAA hearing. Stay tuned!