Delegate Barbara Frush, the sponsor of legislation (HB 881) that would have added a new thirteenth planning vision addressing climate change, has withdrawn her bill. MACo had proposed an amendment deleting the vision as unnecessary and onerous for local governments.
The new planning vision would have read: “Preparation and adaptation – consideration of climate change risks, including sea level rise, increased precipitation and temperature, storm surges, and flooding, based on available data predicting the likelihood of future extreme weather events.” Planning visions are broad goals that must be incorporated into local comprehensive plans.
From MACo’s testimony:
MACo does not object to the State components of the bill, including the ongoing climate change impact assessments and model local ordinances. Such information and tools assist counties in forming their own climate change adaptation strategies. However, MACo does object to the requirement of having to incorporate yet another major policy component into local comprehensive plans that are already burgeoning with mandated information.
Since 2006, counties have seen significant new land use and environmental mandates that have required major additions or changes to a county’s comprehensive plan or related planning processes.
SB 256, which was heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on February 17. The Committee has taken no action on that bill.