Montgomery County Council and Committee Meetings to be Held on Monday, Nov. 27

Per Montgomery County:
The joint Transportation and Environment (TE) and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee will meet on Monday, Nov. 27 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss a more than $1.6 million supplemental appropriation to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Operating Budget for implementing changes to existing County-owned traffic signals and for safe routes to school infrastructure reviews.

The members of the TE Committee include Chair Evan Glass and Councilmembers Marilyn Balcombe and Kate Stewart.

The members of the GO Committee include Chair Kate Stewart, Council Vice President Andrew Friedson and Councilmember Sidney Katz.

The Council will meet at 10:30 a.m. to continue reviewing local and bi-county bills that will be taken up during the 2024 State Legislative Session.

The Planning, Housing and Parks (PHP) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to receive a briefing from the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) and the Office of the Common Ownership Communities (OCOC) about recent activities and issues faced by the OCOC and the Commission on Common Ownership Communities. In addition, the committee will receive a briefing about design alternatives for Little Falls Parkway.

The members of the PHP Committee include Chair Andrew Friedson and Councilmembers Natali Fani-González and Will Jawando.

The TE Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to receive a briefing about the implementation of the County’s Climate Action Plan.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below.

Supplemental Appropriation #24-25 to the FY24 Operating Budget Montgomery County Government Department of Transportation Bill 11-23, Motor Vehicles and Traffic – Traffic Signals, Devices, and Automated Enforcement Plan

Review: The joint TE and GO Committee will review a more than $1.6 million supplemental appropriation to the FY24 Operating Budget for the Department of Transportation. The funding is needed to meet the requirements of Bill 11-23, which is also known as the Safe Streets Act of 2023. The request includes $1.5 million in one-time costs for implementing changes to existing County owned traffic signals, including the purchase and installation of additional “no turn on red” signage and contractual costs related to retiming signals for the Lead Pedestrian Interval. The funding also includes $106,000 for safe routes to school infrastructure reviews, assuming implementation begins in January 2024.

State Legislation

Review: The Office of Intergovernmental Relations, led by Melanie Wenger, will continue its regular briefings about local and bi-county bills for Council consideration. The 2024 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session begins on Jan. 10 and concludes on April 8.

Update from the Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ Office of Common Ownership Communities 

Briefing: The PHP Committee will receive a briefing from DHCA and OCOC on recent activities and issues faced by the OCOC and the Commission on Common Ownership Communities. Common ownership communities (COCs) include homeowners’ associations (HOAs), cooperative housing associations and condominiums. COCs are self-governed by a board of members, which must adopt and enforce rules, collect dues for the maintenance of common property and generally hold its property owners accountable to the COC’s rules. According to Office of Legislative Oversight’s (OLO) Report 2019-6, as of 2019, there were approximately 1,039 COCs registered with the County, including more than 133,000 individual housing units and over 340,000 residents.

Little Falls Parkway Realignment

Review: The PHP Committee will review and make a recommendation to the Council on design alternatives to Little Falls Parkway, which crosses the Capital Crescent Trail between Arlington and Hillandale roads. In response to the death of a cyclist in 2016 along the parkway, the Montgomery County Parks Department began to conduct traffic safety education and enforcement, in addition to re-thinking the design of Little Falls Parkway near the trail crossing. The staff report includes a detailed history of design proposals, public feedback and temporary changes applied to the parkway’s design.

Climate Action Planning Update

Briefing: The TE Committee will receive a briefing about the implementation of the County’s Climate Action Plan, led by County Climate Change Officer Sarah Kogel-Smucker. The Climate Action Plan was completed and publicly released in June 2021. The plan was initiated by the approval of Council Resolution 18-974, Emergency Climate Mobilization. This resolution supported an ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035, as well as initiating large scale efforts to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.

As of 2020, Montgomery County had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent from its 2005 baseline. However, to meet the County’s interim 2027 goals, much steeper emissions reductions must be completed over the next few years. An updated baseline review of emissions reductions will be available in 2025.

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