Les Knapp, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel, testified to the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on March 10, 2015, urging the committee to support with amendments SB 551, Land Use- Plans- Development and Adoption. This bill would clarify the authority of the legislative body of a noncharter county with land use authority to substantively amend a comprehensive plan submitted by that jurisdiction’s planning commission and increase the time in which action must be taken on a comprehensive plan.
The amendments suggested by Maryland Municipal League, and supported by MACo, increase the bills transparency through increased meetings and a single 60-day extension past the initial 90 days for review.
The written testimony explains:
Ultimately, the final authority over a comprehensive plan should rest with the elected local legislative body. Furthermore, charter county legislative bodies already possess the power to substantively amend comprehensive plans. SB 551 simply grants parity for noncharter counties and those municipalities with land use authority.
The cross-file of this bill, HB 919, was heard in House Environment and Transportation Matters last week.
For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.