and in other news...
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Former Inspector General decries "Montgomery County government's culture of secrecy"
In a Washington Post Opinion piece published 9/23/11, former IG Thomas Dagley said "Montgomery County
would benefit from a cultural change that encourages residents and employees to ask tough questions on
difficult issues--and forces leaders to answer." (click to view Washington Post Opinion piece)
TO CONTACT MCCF, send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click the 'Contact us' button (box under homepage left side menu).
County Executive Leggett initiated effort to streamline building and land development
On 1/20/12, County Executive Isiah Leggett unveiled a cross agency initiative to 'green tape' the county's
development approval and building permit processes, to make it less costly and shorten the time for
developers to get approval for new construction projects. (click to view county press release or to view the
DPS webpage for the initiative)
- Proposed Executive Regulations approved that affect Dept. of Permitting Services (DPS) application of the
Fire Safety Code (MCER No. 8-12, 9-12, 10-12, and 11-12). Public comments were due by April 30, 2012.
(click to view proposed DPS Executive Regulations)
- The DPS held a public Streamlining Development Round Table on 5/15/12; a series of worksessions took
place 5/29/12. (click to view email announcing Round Table or upcoming meetings of work groups)
- On 11/27/12 DPS held a Streamlining Development Briefing to update public on the initiative. (click to view
Draft Streamlining Initiative Results)
- In April 2013 a Streamlining Development Executive Committee comprised of government officials and
stakeholders, including the MCCF, was created to oversee implementation of the recommended changes..
12/25/12 Examiner article-"Montgomery County lawmaker pushes 'secret' contract with consultant"
According to this Examiner story, Valerie Ervin has been lobbying her fellow Council members to award a
$1.3m contract to a developer consultant of her choice, to help in streamlining the development approval
process (click to view Examiner article)
1/3/13 Examiner article-"MontCo lawmaker denies 'secret' contract"
In this follow-up Examiner story, Ervin denies she is pushing the $1.3m no-bid contract and says there is
nothing secret about it. But according to a copy of the plan created by the proposed consultant the
document is intended only for the County Council--not the public--unless "a contract is awarded to this offer."
(click to view follow-up Examiner article)
1/4/13 Examiner article-"Union wants Montgomery County planning contract investigated"
MCGEO, the County government employees' union, has called for an investigation of Ervin's push for a
"single source, no-bid contract that would streamline the county's planning processes." (click to view article)
Parents Coalition blogspot posts copy of consultant proposal; says Ervin claims it's not secret
Claiming Ervin states it's not a secret, the Parents Coalition of Montgomery County has posted a copy of the
consultant proposal to streamline development approval. In the plan, the proposed contractor, The Clearing,
includes as a reference their contract to improve the planning process in Calgary, Canada, where Rollin
Stanley is now Planning Director. (click to view consultant's proposal)
Zoning Ordinance Revision Project and accompanying District Map Amendment
The Planning Board has completed its work on modernizing and updating the county's zoning code. It conducted
worksessions in February to consider definitions, parking and other outstanding issues, and then held its final public
hearing on the draft revised code on April 23. The Board then undertook an implementation review to make
recommendations to Council on applying zone changes, primarily in non-residential areas, through a District Map
Amendment. Implementation review occurred weekly at the Board through early May, at which time both the draft
revised code and implementation recommendations were transmitted to the County Council.
- On 4/5/13, the Council Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee (PHED) received an update on
- On 5/7/13, ZTA 13-04 (proposed new Zoning Code) and G-956 (District Map Amendment) introduced in County
Council. The Council public hearing was held June 11, 2013, and PHED worksessions took place June 14 through
end of September. (click to view staff packet accompanying introduced ZTA).
- Nov.12 & 14, 2013 - Council held second hearing; December 2 and 9, 2013 - PHED Committee held 2 additional
worksessions, to consider testimony from Nov. hearing
- Jan. 14 & 15, 2014 - Council held worksessions on Code Rewrite, action on DMA postponed until summer (on 14th,
improperly adopted Floreen amendment to CR Zones as a Committee recommendation, to allow height and density
limits to be exceeded to accommodate MPDUs--click for Federation Corner column on this change); Council &
Planning staff crafting text to reflect changes Council made to new Code, due mid-Feb.; final Council action expected
by end of Feb.
- Mar. 4, 2014 - Council adopted new Zoning Code, ZTA 13-04 as amended
- July 15, 2014 - Council approved District Map Amendment, applying new Code to properties throughout county
(click to access Council approved version of new Zoning Code and the revised zoning map)
[NOTE: existing area Overlay Zones are contained in "59-4. Euclidian zoning" section of new code]
(click to download Zoning Conversion Table listing existing zones and the new zones proposed to replace them)
NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNERS & RESIDENTS IN THE WHITE FLINT, GREAT SENECA SCIENCE CORRIDOR,
WHEATON, KENSINGTON, TAKOMA/LANGLEY CROSSROADS, CHEVY CHASE LAKE, LONG BRANCH AND
GLENMONT PLANNING AREAS:
In adopting the new Zoning Code, the Council broke the promise they made with you that the height and building size
standards applied to CR (Commercial/Residential) zone mixed use properties could not be exceeded. Near the
conclusion of their worksession on April 14 the Council members, led by Council member Nancy Floreen, voted to
permit height and density above that allowed by the CR Zone in order to accommodate MPDUs (Moderately Priced
Dwelling Units), in projects where more than the required 12.5% of such units is provided.
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Report on Design and Construction Flaws in Silver Spring Transit Center released to public
A report from the contracted inspection team entitled "Silver Spring Transit Center Structural
Evaluation of Superstructure" was submitted to county government on March 15, 2013 and released
to public March 19. (click Dept. of General Services webpage for report); 2nd report issued May '14.
County Unveiled New Open Government Data Management Website
This site was established in response to the Open Government Act approved by the County Council
on December 11, 2012, which requires all departments and agencies of county government to
compile the data collected or generated by them onto a single publicly available website. The URL
for the new website is: https://data.montgomerycountymd.gov/
Casey Anderson appointed as new Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board
On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 the County Council appointed sitting Commissioner Casey Anderson to
the position of Planning Board Chair (by an 8 to 1 vote; Councilmember Elrich opposed). Council
also voted to increase the Chair's salary from a range of $160,000-180,000 per year (approved 4
years ago, with outgoing Chair Carrier's salary set at $160,000) to $200,000 per year (by a 6 to 3
vote; Councilmembers Floreen, Andrews and Elrich opposed).
Council will reopen the application process to fill the remaining vacancy resulting from Anderson's
appointment as Chair.
Important news updates posted on this website (most recent item first)
A more detailed explanation of each item below appears on the webpage for the committee shown--
access via the "Current Issues" button in the menu to the left, then select a committee.
- posted 8/20/14 in Resolutions (MCCF resolution urging non-vehicular paths in PEPCO r-o-w)
- posted 8/3/14 for Planning & Land Use (7/29--Council approved White Oak Master Plan)
- May 2014, Council amends Planning Dept. Master Plan Work Program as part of FY'15 Budget
- posted 4/17/14 for Planning & Land Use (2014 Draft Mobility Assessment Report delivered to
Planning Board, includes intersection and road congestion data)
- posted 2/5/14 for Planning & Land Use (White Oak master plan hearing; view MCCF testimony)
- posted 12/8/13 for Planning & Land Use (MCCF testimony to Council on Clarksburg Master Plan
Amendment for Ten Mile Creek Watershed area)
- posted 12/2/13 for Public Safety (Final Report and Recommendations of County Executive's Task
Force on Boosting the Nighttime Economy)
- posted 1/31/13 for Utilities (Governor released (Electricity) Grid Resiliency Task Force Report)
- posted 11/16/12 for Planning & Land Use (Council approves 2012 Subdivision Staging Policy)
- posted 5/20/12 for Planning & Land Use (pipeline list of development projects that have been
approved but are not yet built, compiled March 2012)
MCCF has a weekly column entitled the "Federation Corner" that is published in The
Montgomery Sentinel newspaper. The Sentinel comes out on Thursdays, and is available at
newsstands and in newsboxes at Metro stations throughout the county. Past columns are
archived on this website (see the 'Federation Corner columns' tab in the menu to the left).
Most recently archived column:
08/14/14 Presenting the Montgomery County Civic Federation (click to view)
|NEXT MCCF MONTHLY MEETING
Monday, September 8, 2014
Program: Management of county deer population
Speakers: Principal Natural Resources Specialist Bill
Hamilton and Senior Natural Resources Specialist Ryan
Butler, both with county Dept. of Parks, and Assistant Deer
Project Leader George Timko, MD Dept. of Natural Resources
Community Hero: Gordon Brenne, MC Taxpayers League
The September 2014 Civic Federation newsletter is now
available online.(click to view latest newsletter)