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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Friday, March 27, 2009

CB7 & CB8-2009: extension of development plans in Prince George's County

March 28th (CB-07/09) 2009
The Prince George’s County Council will be taking up two bills to suspend certain rules of development in order to assist a major business force economically. Specifically CB-007-2009 and CB-008-2009 would remove time caps on valid development plans which otherwise might expire because the capital or market is not currently available. Under current provisions, development plans must commence with in a specific time or the plans expire and the process must start over.
On bill is pertains to the sub-division code and the other amends zoning: AN ORDINANCE concerning Validity Periods for Detailed Site Plans and Specific Design Plans For the purpose of temporarily suspending or tolling the validity periods of all approved applications for Detailed Site Plans and Specific Design Plans that are currently in a valid status….

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED by the County Council of Prince George's County, Maryland, sitting as the District Council for that part of the Maryland-Washington Regional District in Prince George's County, Maryland, that the provisions for the running of validity periods contained in Sections 27-287, 27-527, 27-528, 27-546.07, and 27-548.08 of the Zoning Ordinance of the County Code, are hereby temporarily suspended until April 15, 2011.
SECTION 2. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that the suspension of the validity period for a given application shall only be applied if the application is, at the date of the adoption of this Ordinance, in an active, current validity period. This suspension shall not be applied to any application where a validity period has expired prior to the date of the adoption of this Ordinance or to any application whose validity period begins after the date of the adoption of this Ordinance
SECTION 3. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that the provisions of this Ordinance shall be abrogated and be of no further force and effect after April 15, 2011.
SECTION 4. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that the provisions of this Ordinance shall take effect on the effective date of CB-8-2009.

April 1, 2009 – 10:00 a.m.
ROOM 2027
a) Presentation by Committee Staff
(including comments received by the Committee)
b) Comments from Sponsor
c) Questions from Committee Members
d) Comments from Agencies
e) General Discussion
f) Motion and Vote
1. CB-7-2009 (Dean) - An Ordinance concerning Validity Periods for Detailed Site Plans and
Specific Design Plans for the purpose of temporarily suspending or tolling the validity periods of all
approved applications for Detailed Site Plans and Specific Design Plans that are currently in a
valid status.
2. CB-8-2009 (Dean) - A Subdivision Bill concerning validity periods for Preliminary Plans of
Subdivision for the purpose of temporarily suspending or tolling the validity periods of all approved
applications for Preliminary Plans of Subdivision that are currently in a valid status.
PZED Committee Members:
Samuel H. Dean, Chair
Eric C. Olson, Vice Chair
Marilynn M. Bland
Thomas E. Dernoga
Andrea C. Harrison

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CB-007-2009 and CB-008-2009 reflect shockingly bad public policy and are unworthy of our County. There is a good reason that present sub-division approvals expire within a reasonable time and it has nothing to do with the needs of the applicant or the developer. These time limitations are designed to protect the public interest. This new legislation by contrast is entirely private interest in spirit.
The proposed new laws masquerade as benevolent gestures to help out a beleaguered business community in a tight economic climate. It shifts the inherent business risks we all share back onto the public and instead of balancing the load fairly. It is undoubtedly probably a last ditch attempt to make sure that zoning and approval by “parting shot” is preserved. Our term limited legislators often ramrod special interest sub-division and development projects through the approval process and if these pet projects expire in the current tight market it is unlikely a newly convened legislative body with new players in the room would approve them again. Let’s face it, if these projects have merit, what is the harm of opening up again in the future after a reasonable time in order to verify they are still good ideas and still serve the interests of the general community? This legislation is plainly for a specific suite of projects that somebody on the council covets somewhere. It’s a means of “grandfathering” approvals to ensure the projects will survive after the interested parties are no longer in public office.
Basically subdivision approvals should sunset within a reasonable time so that the County does not incur “sleepers” that get approved and then the investors can wait for an unlimited or at least extended period of time to actually launch the project. Timeliness is the essence of such approvals and time is a core ingredient implicit in all such responsible permitting activity. Something that seems like a good idea now may not be so in 2, or 5 or even 10 years from now. It means from a public policy standpoint the County and the public should only have to deal with foreseeable development activity and therefore can respond adequately to changes in the legislative environment, public priorities, infrastructure needs and other things that unfolded through the passage of time. This latest legislation seeks to make it harder to restrain a project through subsequent review that somebody was slick enough to get approved through whatever political or legal chicanery.
Social or economic conditions are never just static for the rest of us (so why should we freeze a permit)? Things change for the County, for the project and the conditions that lead to approvals. It is smarter for the public interest to be able to review these approvals within the time frame and context in which they were approved, including various time sensitive parameters and factors (like community need) and development pressures, other nearby growth that emerges etc. We should not be honoring subdivision approvals that occurred ages ago when conditions were entirely different then. It means that some of these onerous project become “swords” hanging over the heads of the receiving neighborhoods as nobody except the developer/permittee will have all the control and the County will be over a barrel. Maybe the project will happen now, later or never. Who knows? But this legislation primary control to someone who has an approval in hand but also wants to hold the County and the neighborhood hostage for as long as they wish or at least for an extended time beyond current rules. It subordinates the community to the will and the profit motives of those with politically brokered permits, it helps them evade any future bite at the apple by the public who might wish to ensure neighborhood character in the present day, suitability or desirability. These new laws reek of special interest pure and simple.