Council to Commemorate African Heritage Month, Vote on a Resolution to Extend Ride On Fare Holiday and Introduce Legislation that Would Require County Employees to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 at Virtual Meeting on Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Monday, September 27, 2021

Also on Sept. 28: The Council is expected to vote on adoption of the 2018 International Green Construction Code and consider a vote to override the County Executive’s veto to establish a business improvement district (BID) in Silver Spring

The Montgomery County Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. The Montgomery County Council will hold its inaugural African Heritage Month hosted by Councilmember Will Jawando and Council President Tom Hucker. The theme of this year’s commemoration, which includes a special video segment and proclamation presentation, is the “Resiliency of African Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Councilmembers Craig Rice and Sidney Katz will also present a Council proclamation recognizing Constitution Month.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and County Public Health Planning

Update: Sitting as the Board of Health, the Council will receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery and vaccination efforts. The update with also include information from Montgomery County Public Schools about their ongoing COVID safety measures. Those expected to provide information include Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); James Bridgers, acting chief health officer, DHHS; Dr. Earl Stoddard, acting assistant chief administrative officer, Montgomery County Government; James D’Andrea, chief of staff, Office of the Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS); and Heather Dublinske, coordinator, Student Welfare and Compliance, MCPS. Join the conversation with #COVID-19.

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-06, Exemptions – Density Transfer and Historic Resources

 

Introduction: The Council will introduce ZTA 21-06, Exemptions – Density Transfer and Historic Resources, which would establish a new residential lot exemption for properties containing a historic resource that is protected from development by a density transfer.

 

The proposed exemption would permit a limited list of commercial uses on the site containing the historic resource. It would require a recommendation of approval from the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and site plan approval by the Planning Board. During the approval process, the HPC and the Planning Board would have three new findings to make, intended to ensure that the proposed commercial uses protect, rather than detract from, the historic resource.

 

The lead sponsor is Council President Hucker, at the request of the Planning Board.

 

Executive Regulation 12-20, Adoption of the 2018 International Green Construction Code

 

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Executive Regulation 12-20, Adoption of the 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The IgCC includes measures that result in better indoor environments and a lower impact on natural resources. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee unanimously recommended approval.

 

The building sector comprises 50 percent of the County’s community-wide greenhouse gas emissions. Improving the efficiency of new and existing buildings is a critical step that the County seeks to take to meet its emissions reduction goals. The 2018 IgCC applies to certain new buildings and additions to existing buildings of more than 5,000 square feet. It includes solar photovoltaic options, energy modeling options and building design improvements.

 

Those expected to attend and provide information include Rick Merck, division chief, Commercial Building Construction, Department of Permitting Services (DPS) and Bryan Bomer, sustainability, energy, and mechanical manager, Commercial Building Construction, DPS. 

SRA 20-02, Subdivision Ordinance – Revisions, Clarifications, and Corrections

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on SRA 20-02 which would make revisions, clarifications and corrections to the subdivision ordinance. The goal of the SRA is to clarify language, correct mistakes and add necessary provisions that are currently missing. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee unanimously recommended approval with amendments.

While most of the proposed changes are minor, several substantive changes are also proposed. The significant changes include:

  • provisions for the approval of flag lots and lots without frontage;
  • exemption from platting requirements for utility and telecommunications structures;
  • provisions for vacating an approved subdivision plan;
  • a provision for the extension of reservation of land for public use;
  • a provision to specify an initiation date for the adequate public facilities validity period, similar to the existing initiation date provisions for plan validity;
  • a limitation on Planning Board-approved adequate public facilities (APF) extensions to a total of 12 years;
  • provisions for administrative subdivision plans for approval procedures, required findings, plan certification, amendments, validity periods, revocations, and canceled approvals; and
  • a grandfathering provision to allow applications to be reviewed under the regulations that were in effect at the time of the application’s filing.

Council President Tom Hucker is the lead sponsor, at the request of the Planning Board.

Appointment to the Board of Appeals

Vote expected: The County is expected to vote to reappoint Caryn Hines to the Board of Appeals (BOA) for a term to expire in September 2025. Hines was appointed on February 23, 2021, to fill the term of Katherine Freeman. Ms. Hines will complete a partial term in September 2021.

Resolution to authorize the issuance of taxable limited obligation certificates to finance the Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation Project

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a resolution to issue additional revenue certificates and refinance certain revenue bond series related to acquisition and renovation of affordable housing in the County. The resolution also allows the County to refinance previous issued bonds for savings on existing debt. This project will provide funding for the acquisition or renovation of properties for the purpose of preserving or increasing the County’s affordable housing inventory.

Resolution to amend FY22 Transportation Fees, Charges, and Fares

Introduction, public hearing and vote: The Council is scheduled to introduce, hold a public hearing and vote on a Resolution to amend FY22 Transportation Fees, Charges and Fares, which would further extend the fare holiday on Ride On through January 1, 2021. In May, the Council extended the fare holiday through September 30, 2021.  It also approved the County Executive’s funding request to allow the Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct a Fare Equity Study for Ride On, which was transmitted to the Council this afternoon.

The Council will review the Fare Equity Study for Ride On and will schedule and hold another public hearing on a proposed fare schedule that would be implemented after the fare holiday ends on Jan. 2, 2022.

County Executive’s appointee for Assistant Chief Administrative Officer: Earl Stoddard

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote to confirm Dr. Earl Stoddard, who is the County Executive’s appointee for Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Dr. Stoddard is currently serving as acting CAO and was the County’s former director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

WSSC Water’s FY23 Spending Control Limits

Public hearing: The Council is scheduled hold a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) WSSC Water Spending Control Limits. WSSC’s spending control limits process was established in April 1994 via resolution by both Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils, with the goal of both Councils agreeing on certain budgetary limits by November 1 of each year.

WSSC is the bi-county governmental agency charged with providing water and sanitary sewer service within the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, which includes most of Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. The Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee is scheduled to review WSSC Water’s FY23 Spending Control Limits on October 14.

Consideration of County Executive’s veto of Bill 3-21, Special Taxing Area Laws – Silver Spring Business Improvement District – Established

Review and vote expected: The Council is expected to consider a vote to override the County Executive’s veto of Bill 3-21, Special Taxing Area Laws – Silver Spring Business Improvement District – Established, which would establish a business improvement district (BID) in Silver Spring. The Council enacted the bill on July 27 by a 7-1 vote. Councilmember Jawando voted against the bill. The County Executive vetoed the bill on August 9. Under Charter §208, the Council may override the Executive’s disapproval if six Councilmembers vote to re-enact the bill.

The bill would establish guidelines for the district, authorize a district corporation and authorize a tax on nonexempt property located in the district to finance the operations of the district corporation. The goal of this bill is to improve public services and facilities in the Silver Spring Urban District.

The lead sponsors are Councilmember Riemer and County President Hucker. Councilmembers Friedson, Katz, Navarro and Rice are cosponsors.

Resolution to Support Changes to State Legislation Enabling the Creation of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Montgomery County

Introduction: Lead sponsor Councilmember Glass will introduce a resolution with cosponsors Council President Hucker, Vice President Albornoz and Councilmembers Navarro, Riemer, Rice, Katz and Frideson, stating their support for changes to state enabling legislation, MD Economic Development Code Sections 12-601 through 12-612, that would assist in the establishment of future Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Montgomery County that further advance the County’s adopted racial equity and social justice law and economic development strategy. A public hearing and vote are scheduled for Oct. 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Expedited Bill 34-21, Personnel and Human Resources – COVID-19 Vaccination Required

Introduction: Lead sponsors Councilmembers Riemer and Jawando are scheduled to introduce Expedited Bill 34-21, Personnel and Human Resources – COVID-19 Vaccination Required, which would require County employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations to the requirement would be available for medical reasons.

If passed, an employee who fails to provide proof of vaccination or apply for a medical accommodation within seven days of notification from the County would be placed on unpaid leave. An employee who fails to fulfill the vaccination requirement or to secure a medical accommodation, after having been placed on leave would be subject to dismissal from County employment. The requirements and implementation of Expedited Bill 34-21 would be expressly exempt from collective bargaining and provisions of the Montgomery County Code related to collective bargaining.

A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for October 19, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

Proposed Closed Session

The Council is expected to hold a closed session to discuss public security, including the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and the development and implementation of emergency plans pursuant to Maryland Code, General Provisions Article §3-305(b)(10). The topic is ongoing investigation of criminal activity and police deployment and tactics.

The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

The Council and Committees are meeting via Zoom this fall because of ongoing construction and technology upgrades in the Council’s Hearing Room and the inability to conduct meetings in a socially distant way in other areas of the Council Office Building with television broadcast capacity. Councilmembers will continue to hold meetings in their offices by appointment.

The virtual Council and Committee meetings will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 21-377
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884

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