Howard County Council Votes To Stay Mulching & Composting Zoning Reg Changes Pending Further Study

A June 3 Baltimore Sun article reported that the Howard County Council has voted to suspend mulching and composting regulations on agriculturally preserved land that were adopted during the County’s recent comprehensive zoning process and instead create a task force to study the issue.  In the meantime, the regulations would revert to what was in place prior to the rezoning.

The [task force] would be composed of 13 members, including representatives from the community and the agricultural industry, as well as health and environmental experts, to study best practices and optimal sizes and locations for mulching, composting and wood processing. The task force would submit a report to the council by Nov. 15.

 Council members Greg Fox, a Republican who represents most of the western county, and Mary Kay Sigaty, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Clarksville and Columbia, worked on amendments to the bill, which was also co-sponsored by council member Courtney Watson, before it was approved Monday.  …

[Fox] said that he wanted “to make sure that we’re protecting both sides.” Hundreds of community members, including local farmers both for and against the new bill, testified before the council at a public hearing last month.

Sigaty said she supported the bill and resolution as a way of “calming the water, making sure that things that need to be talked about, that in fact really need to be figured out within our community — that we have time to do that.”