County Council Meets Today to Review Expedited Bill 49-21 to Establish a Police Accountability Board and Administrative Charging Committee and Vote on Amendments to the Sandy Spring/Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone

Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 7, 2022
Also on March 8: Resolution to create Biohealth Opportunity Zone Incentive Program grants to attract biohealth campuses in County Opportunity Zones will be introduced by Councilmembers Friedson and Navarro
The Council will meet on Tuesday, March 8 at 9 a.m. The meeting will begin with Council President Albornoz holding a moment of silence to recognize Montgomery County’s two-year battle against COVID-19.
Then Council President Albornoz and the full Council will present a proclamation recognizing Linda McMillan for her years of service to the Montgomery County Council. Next, Council President Albornoz will present proclamations recognizing National Social Work Month by honoring Jay Kenney, NASW Social Work Pioneer, and recognizing Multiple Sclerosis Week.
More detail on each agenda item is provided below.
Applicants to serve on the Policing Advisory Commission
Interviews: The Council will conduct interviews to fill one vacancy on the Policing Advisory Commission, which consists of 13 public members who have an interest or expertise in policing matters and reflect the diversity of Montgomery County. The Policing Advisory Commission deliberates on policy issues, using data and focuses on best practices.
Nine Policing Advisory Commission members are appointed by the Council and four members are appointed by the County Executive, with two of the Executive’s appointments being youth members. The police chief, or a designee, and the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, or a designee, serve as ex‐officio members.
Those expected to interview with the Council include Marc Brenman, Jaslynn Laurence, Laura Oberbroeckling, Simone Walton, Laurie Ekstrand, Mike Fletcher, Ty McKinney, Steven Soroka, Soren Ashmall, Peter Francis and Alana Stanley.
Expedited Bill 49-21, Police Accountability Board – Administrative Charging Committee – Established
Review: The Council will continue its review of Expedited Bill 49-21, Police – Police Accountability Board – Administrative Charging Committee – Established, which would establish a Police Accountability Board (PAB) and Administrative Charging Committee (ACC) for the County. The goal of the bill is to help improve police accountability.
The Public Safety (PS) Committee held three meetings to review and amend the bill. The proposed amendments would increase the PAB membership to nine voting members with at least one member residing in a municipality covered by the PAB and permit the Executive to appoint one or more nonvoting members, clarify that all complaints from the public must be investigated and reported to the ACC, require funding for training of PAB and ACC members from the police and outside organizations and authorize the Council to remove a member for failure to complete required training.
The Council approved each of these PS Committee amendments at its first meeting to review Expedited bill 49-21. In addition, the Council removed reference to a violation of law, as one of the reasons for removal of a member. The Council also approved an amendment that replaces general language indicating that professional experience is required, with more detailed language requiring that the individual be able to demonstrate through professional or lived experience the ability to balance effective oversight, perform objective analysis of an investigation report and practice procedural fairness.
The Maryland General Assembly enacted a series of laws establishing uniform standards for police department operations throughout the state. One of these laws, House Bill (HB) 670, created a new uniform procedure for police accountability and discipline. This new law requires the governing body of each county to establish a PAB and an ACC to handle complaints of police misconduct from residents. HB 670 also gives the County PAB and the County ACC jurisdiction over police misconduct complaints against municipal police departments located in the County.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive.
Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services – $2,109,404 for COVID Mass Vaccination CARES Grant
Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a more than $2.1 million Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Operating Budget for the Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID Mass Vaccination CARES Grant. The grant is awarded to the County by the Maryland Department of Health’s Prevention and Health Promotion Administration.
Montgomery County continues to support the vaccination of County residents against COVID-19 through clinics and special health initiatives. Ongoing funding is needed to continue to expand existing infrastructure and efforts to increase vaccinations, reduce hesitancy and reach minority residents with culturally and linguistically appropriate services to reduce disparities.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive. A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for March 22.
Executive Regulation 16-21, Sick Leave Amendments
Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce Executive Regulation 16-21, Sick Leave Amendments, which would implement changes to the MCGEO Collective Bargaining Agreement that were accepted by the Council for FY22 under Resolution No. 19-818 and that were accounted for in the FY22 operating budget.
The regulation would entitle a County employee, with at least ten years of service to the County, to receive $5,000 if they are enrolled in the Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) or Guaranteed Retirement Investment Program (GRIP) and have a sick leave balance of at least 120 hours. In addition, an employee in the RSP or GRIP who leaves County service with at least 20 years of service and a sick leave balance of at least 240 hours would be entitled to receive $10,000. The FY22 operating budget allocated $110,000 for this purpose.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive.
Authorization to approve and certify the Agency Safety Plan for Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Division of Transit Services
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on a resolution authorizing the certification of the Agency Safety plan mandated by the Federal Transit Administration. The United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration requires that operators of public transportation must develop Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans based on the Safety Management System approach and each transit agency must certify its compliance with the federal requirements. Operators of public transportation systems will be required to implement the safety plans.
Resolution to create the Biohealth Opportunity Zone Incentive Program grants to attract Biohealth Campuses in County Opportunity Zones
Introduction: Lead sponsors Councilmembers Friedson and Navarro will introduce a resolution to create Biohealth Opportunity Zone Incentive Program grants to attract biohealth campuses to County Opportunity Zones. All other Council members are cosponsors. The grant program would provide $250,000 to any Biohealth Priority Campus, as defined in ZTA 21-09, that locates in a County Opportunity Zone upon its receipt of an occupancy permit.
A vote is tentatively scheduled for March 15.
Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – $7,821,000 for FEMA Emergency Protective Measures Grant
Public Hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on a more than $7.8 million special appropriation for DHHS and the FEMA Emergency Protective Measures Grant, which is needed to support the administration of vaccinations. The grant is provided to the County through the Maryland Department of Health.
The Feb. 23 DHHS Pulse Report says that as of Feb. 19, 2022, at least 95 percent of the total County population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; 85 percent of the total population has received at least two doses of vaccine; 52 percent of the fully vaccinated population has received a booster or an additional dose; and 75 percent of fully vaccinated residents aged 65 and older have received a booster and additional dose.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive. A vote is tentatively scheduled for March 15.
Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Operating Budget, DHHS – $224,956 for Newcomers Enhancements and Assistance
Public Hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on a $224,956 special appropriation to provide funds for enhancements and assistance to newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children and their families in the Washington metropolitan region as they flee violence and poverty in their home countries.
The Council appropriated funds in July 2022 to support this effort; however, DHHS found that additional funding is needed to address safety, human trafficking and emergency assistance needs. The Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement placed 1,231 unaccompanied children in federal fiscal year 2021 and 252 unaccompanied children during Oct. and Nov. of 2021 with sponsors in Montgomery County. DHHS, Montgomery County Public Schools and community partners are collaborating to provide a comprehensive system of supports.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive. A vote is tentatively scheduled for March 15.
Special Appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget, Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) Non-Departmental Account (NDA) – $3,000,000
Public hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on a $3 million special appropriation for the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC). According to HOC, which is the County’s public housing authority, the County has seen a significant loss of revenue as tenants are unable to pay rent and make up arrearages. This funding will assist in filling a portion of HOC’s revenue shortfall. HOC and its tenants may also receive rental assistance through other federal and state programs.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive. A PHED Committee meeting to review the special appropriation is scheduled for March 14.
Declaration of No Further Need – Disposition of Hollywood Branch Parcel
Public hearing and vote: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing and vote on a Declaration of No Further Need to transfer a 12.8-acre parcel of County property known as the Hollywood Branch Parcel located at 0 Laurie Drive in Silver Spring, Md. to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The parcel currently sits between two Commission-owned properties, which are located near the Paint Branch Stream Valley Park and are currently used as a conservation area.
County and Commission staff determined that the parcel was not included in a 1972 agreement that allows the Commission to manage County-owned properties as parklands. Given its current and future intended use as a conservation area, the County Executive is recommending a direct transfer at nominal value of the parcel to the Commission. The Commission intends to incorporate the parcel into its nearby Paint Branch Stream Valley Park and to continue its use as a conservation area.
Bill 4-22, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Public Accommodations – Gender Inclusive Restroom
Public hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 4-22, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Public Accommodations – Gender Inclusive Restrooms, which requires gender-inclusive restrooms in certain places of public accommodation and County owned buildings and generally amends the law regarding prohibited discrimination in public accommodations. The lead sponsors of Bill 4-22 are Councilmember Katz and Council Vice President Glass. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.
The purpose of Bill 4-22 is to increase accessibility for anyone to use a single-user restroom regardless of gender, gender identity or expression and benefit people with disabilities who have caregivers of different gender or parents with children of different gender who may require assistance using a public restroom. The goals of this bill include helping to decrease barriers, encourage full community inclusion and strengthen dignity and personal safety.
Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-10, Accessory Structures – Use Standards
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-10, Accessory Structures – Use Standards, which would clarify the maximum footprint for accessory buildings on a lot in the agricultural, rural residential and residential detached zones. The PHED Committee recommends approval.
The ZTA makes it clear that the cumulative footprint of all accessory structures may not exceed 50 percent of the footprint of the principal building or 600 square feet, whichever is greater. The lead sponsors of the ZTA are Councilmembers Friedson and Jawando.
Those expected to attend and provide information include Casey Anderson, chair, Montgomery County Planning Board; Jason Sartori, chief, Countywide Planning and Policy, Planning Department; Benjamin Berbert, planner coordinator, Countywide Planning and Policy, Planning Department; Victor Salazar, division chief, Zoning, Well & Septic and Code Compliance, DPS; and Patricia Wolford, zoning manager, Division of Zoning, Well & Septic and Code Compliance, DPS.
ZTA 21-11, Ashton Village Center Overlay Zone and Ashton Village Center Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) H-144
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-11, Sandy Spring/Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone – Amendments, which amends the existing Sandy Spring Ashton Rural Village Overlay Zone (SSARVO) to make it consistent with the recommendations from the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan. This vote on ZTA 21-11 will be followed by an expected vote on the related Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) H-144. The PHED Committee recommends enactment.
The SSARVO was established in 1998 and the Zoning Ordinance was updated in 2014.  The Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan was updated in 2015 and the Ashton Rural Village Sector Plan was updated in 2021. The new Zoning Ordinance and the updated master plans rezoned the C zones to the CRN and CRT Zones, which offered many of the land use controls that the overlay zone provided. The proposed amendments to the SSARVO would reduce those redundancies. The amended overlay zone will retain site plan requirements for all non-residential developments and allow certain existing non-conforming commercial uses to remain.
The lead sponsor of ZTA 21-11 is the Council President, at the request of the Planning Board.
SMA H-144 was filed on Nov. 10, 2021 by the Montgomery County Planning Board to implement the specific zoning recommendations of the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan. The SMA application covers a plan area of approximately 127 acres in the eastern part of the County at the intersection of state routes MD 108 and MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue). The District Council approved the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan in June 2021.
Those expected to attend and provide information include Casey Anderson, chair, Montgomery County Planning Board; Jason Sartori, chief, Countywide Planning and Policy, Planning Department; Benjamin Berbert, planner coordinator, Countywide Planning and Policy, Planning Department; Donnell Zeigler, supervisor, Upcounty Planning, Planning Department; Jamey Pratt, senior planner, Upcounty Planning, Planning Department; Roberto Duke, planner coordinator, Upcounty Planning, Planning Department; and Patrick Butler, division chief, Upcounty Planning, Planning Department.
Release ID: 22-099
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884

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