The House Environmental Matters Committee reported out HB 1257 favorably with amendments supported by MACo on March 21. As previously reported on Conduit Street, HB 1257 makes a number of changes to the newly adopted Land Use Article based on proposals by the code revision committee responsible for creating the Article. The proposed changes (known as “flags”) are substantive enough that they could not be enacted as part of the basic code revision process and instead had to be adopted through a separate bill.
MACo reviewed the bill’s proposals and identified two areas of concern. First, the bill would have prohibited a single elected official from a local jurisdiction from serving as an ex officio member of that jurisdiction’s planning commission. Second, the bill would have required certain charter counties, which did not previously have to do a fisheries element, to include a fisheries element in their comprehensive plan.
The bill passed out of Committee with amendments that require counties that had to previously include a fisheries element in their comprehensive plan to continue to do so but does not expand the requirement to any new counties. Each jurisdiction may also continue to point one elected official as an ex officio member on a planning commission but the official must recuse himself or herself from voting when the official has a conflict of interest.