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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].

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview with Sponsor of PG 411-12; local zoning authority

               Last week I wrote about PG411-12 and had an opportunity to speak with Delegate Valentino-Smith last week; a virtual interview about PG 411-12, a bill which she is sponsoring.[1] PG 411-12 would give that authority to any Prince George’s municipality with a population of greater than 20,000.[2]

                The Delegate believes that the "best government is the most local government.  My first question then:

·       Thompson: "Why, Delegate, do you think the best government is the most local one?"
o   Delegate Smith: " Government officials that are at the level closest to the people can make the best decisions regarding land use in their community because they know their community issues the best."

·       Thompson: "What about concerns that there will be too many conflicting requirements leading to a plethora of local designs; a mish-mash if you will?"
o   Delegate Smith: "The bill requires that the Prince George’s County Zoning Code be used.  There need be no worry about conflicting zoning laws. Moreover,  the bill streamlines the process.  Currently, there is a municipal component, a MNCPPC component and a County component to land use decisions.  This bill will slash that process by 2/3. I also point out that land use is already Balkanized in Prince George’s County.  For those who fear that municipal land use authority will balkanize county land use practices, there is already a balkanized county system with each of nine county councilmen deciding land use for their own districts., Present land use laws in Prince George’s County were first enacted in 1927.  It is time to bring those laws into the twenty-first century "

·       Thompson: "What about the cost to the local communities? Won't this increase budgets at the municipal level? Won't the cities have to hire additional professioanls staff?"
o   Delegate Smith: "Larger municipalities can handle land use matters.  They already have planning departments that make recommendations to the County. Municipalities have proven they can handle large developments.  The best new development in Montgomery County, the Kentlands, was done by a municipality (Gaithersburg), not by MNCPPC and Montgomery County. Further why single out our county?  There is no reason why Prince George’s County should be singled out as the only county in the state prohibiting large municipality land use authority."

[1] Thompson. PG 411-12 Local Zoning Authority for Bowie et al - - Qualifying Municipal Corporations - Land Use Decisions.  January 6, 2012.
[2] Legislation - Bill History. [accessed January 10, 2012]

PG 411-12
Prince George's County - Qualifying Municipal Corporations - Land Use Decisions
Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith
For the purpose of authorizing a governing body of a certain municipal corporation by resolution to exercise the powers of the Prince George's County Planning Board, the zoning hearing examiner for Prince George's County, or the County Council for Prince George's County, sitting as a district council, to make certain land-use decisions; subjecting the exercise of certain powers by the governing body of a certain municipal corporation to the substantial and procedural requirements and standards established in the Prince George's County zoning ordinance; prohibiting a governing body of a certain municipal corporation from amending the Prince George's County zoning ordinance or adopting a municipal zoning ordinance; granting a certain party of record a right to seek judicial review of the certain decision; defining a certain term; and generally relating to land-use decisions by governing bodies of municipal corporations in Prince Georges County.

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