The 2017 Comprehensive Zoning Review is underway. The Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning has received a total of 115 rezoning requests. Rezonings are proposed in every county district (i.e., Councilmanic Districts A through F).
*Planning Advisory Board (PAB) Meeting Scheduled for August 9, 2017- 6pm-8pm- County Council Chambers- 212 S. Bond Street-Belair, Maryland
*The Planning Advisory Board (PAB) most likely will also meet Thursday, August 10th, if needed, at the same place and time. The extension of the meeting is to allow enough time to complete the review and presentation of the zoning requests and recommendation.
FoH believes it’s vital that you, as someone who could be impacted by the proposed changes, get involved. Zoning determines what can happen on a property (see the Zoning page for descriptions and examples). The Comprehensive Zoning Review is your best – and perhaps only – opportunity to have a major impact on what happens around you.
The Planning Advisory Board, appointed by the County Executive, role is to provide strategic advice to Harford County Administration regarding comprehensive zoning.
In tandem, the Department of Planning & Zoning issues their recommendations for each zoning request.
This fall the County Council will be sent legislation saying, in effect, enact the changes the landowners or their agents have requested. The administration also supplies additional information for the Council as to what they and the PAB have recommended for each issue. The County Council will then have 60 days to act on this: first by holding a public hearing and then by passing, failing or amending the bill. Public Input Hearings before the County Council are scheduled for Monday, October 2nd at Aberdeen High School and Thursday, October 5th at Bel Air High School, both at 6:30 pm.
Any Councilman may add an amendment to any issue in the bill changing the zoning as they believe would be best for the property. They may offer this amendment at any time prior to the final vote. That means it is critical that you contact all the Council to voice your concerns. Show the Council that you care about how the County is zoned and what new businesses, housing types and commercial and industrial concerns can be built near you. For contact list of officials, click HERE
June, 2017- Update on Bill: 17-008: Comprehensive Zoning Review – Posting Requirements- Changes public notice for public hearing to one (1) County-wide newspaper instead of two (2) newspapers. “Public notice shall also include posting on an official site that is accessible to the public.”
During Bill 17-008’s public hearing, FoH requested an amendment so that the Comprehensive Zoning information to be provided in paper form at select locations — including the Director of Planning’s final recommendations for zoning, and the comments/recommendations of the Planning Advisory Board — would also be posted on the County’s website for the convenience of the public. County Council members unanimously supported our request.
The Comprehensive Zoning Review occurs a minimum of every 8 years. This year the application period for submitting a re-zoning request is December 12, 2016- February 10, 2017. All changes to zoning must be complete within 1 year of the start of the application period.
The Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning provides recommendations, then the County Council votes to approve or deny each zoning change, with final approval from the County Executive.
During the application period, property owners can submit request to change the underlying zoning of their property. The County may also propose zoning changes to properties in which the owner has not requested it. The property owner must pay a fee and submit an application to have their zoning changed (or, to keep their zoning the same if the County has proposed changing it).
Proposed changes to zoning must be publicly posted on each property, and a notification sent to all adjoining landowners. The Department of Planning and Zoning must also host several public input sessions, and the County Council must host a public hearing.
With help from volunteers and neighbors, Friends of Harford will also conduct a review of each zoning request and submit these recommendations to the County Council.
Stay up to date with proposed zoning changes and dates for public input to the County Council in Fall, 2017.