Comprehensive Zoning Review WRAP UP- November 2017
Comprehensive rezoning is over for another 6 to 8 years. This round there were 115 requests by residents or their agents. Every Councilman introduced amendments to grant a more intense use for a property than the one received in the legislation as presented by County Administration.
It should be noted that a Land Use Study conducted by the County in 2011 and again in 2014 declared that there was more than adequate land available for every use, be it residential, business or commercial-industrial available well beyond the next CZR era. The study also showed there will be a need for more Residential zoning long before there is a need for more Business or Industrial zoned land.
Rezoning to a more intense District (up-zoning) often means additional facilities/services will be required from the County. The cost of funding these new roads and other required infrastructure will be borne by the taxpayers. Harford County elected officials are responsible for balancing the citizens’ quality of life and taxpayer funding for future infrastructure requirements caused by approved zoning changes.
In all, 836 acres received requests for rezoning. Approximately 250 acres were up-zoned from less intense to more intense categories of zoning, e.g., from agricultural to residential, from residential to business, or business to industrial. Approximately 80 acres were up-zoned in intensity, e.g., R1 rezoned to R3, B1 rezoned to B2, etc.
Summary by District –FOH CZR Summary 2017
Comprehensive Zoning Review UPDATE—September 2017
The County Council received Bill 17-015 from the Administration. The recommendations from Planning & Zoning for each issue including 5 new ones the Department entered, are the basis of the bill. (See link with bill, Directors Report and recommendations for change/no change in zoning.) The County Council has until its final meeting in October to vote on the bill and make amendments.
It is urgent that you contact your Councilman or speak at the public hearings if you wish them to approve or reject any of the zoning change/no-changes in the bill itself. Time is short. Click here for the FoH Charts for each Council district (A through F). On this chart, in the blue column (labeled “Bill 17-015”) are the requests the Council is asked to approve. The green column (“FOH”) is what FOH recommends. Rows highlighted in orange are issues where FOH strongly disagrees with what’s in the Bill and is asking the Council to amend the Bill to change them. Our reasons are shown HERE
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.
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 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.