The quality of life in Harford County is directly affected by decisions about land use and development. Over time, several problems have arisen in the county because of a lack of adequate planning, infrastructure, and protective legislation.
These issues include:
- Inadequate infrastructure, including schools, parks, and Emergency Medical Services;
- Light pollution and diminished night sky visibility;
- Traffic congestion and increased demand on rural, secondary roads.
We believe that decisions about land use in Harford should be carefully weighed to ensure our cultural, historic, and natural resources are preserved so that future generations may enjoy a high quality of life here. We also believe that resources should be distributed fairly throughout the county and all citizens should have an opportunity to be involved in land use decisions.
Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance
Each year, Harford County must compile a report on growth in the County, as well as whether any public facilities are operating below the minimum standard.
These standards are determined by the Maryland Department of Planning and Harford County’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO). Public Schools, water and sewerage, road intersections, and government facilities, are all part of the APFO considerations.
The projected population for Harford County in 2020 is 258,668 people, comprising 97,892 households. The 2005 Annual Growth Report estimated 270,020 people in 103,040 households for 2018. So far, population growth in the county has not happened as quickly as predicted.
In 2005, at the peak of development, there were 2,113 residential building permits requested and approved. In 2016 there were less than half as many permits approved (908).
In 2005 there were 7 schools with attendance 110% to 137% over the capacity of the buildings. Today, there is only one school over 100% capacity – Harford Technical High School.