Per Montgomery County: The Montgomery County Council will meet on Tuesday, March 21 at 9:15 a.m. and the meeting will begin with a proclamation presentation recognizing National Agriculture Day, presented by Council Vice President Andrew Friedson and Councilmembers Marilyn Balcombe and Dawn Luedtke. The afternoon session will begin at 1:15 p.m. with a proclamation recognizing Ramadan, led by Council President Evan Glass and County Executive Marc Elrich. More detail on each agenda item is provided below.
District Council Session
Hearing Examiner’s report and recommendation on Local Map Amendment (LMA) Application No. H-147
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on LMA Application H-147 for property located at 11105 New Hampshire Ave. in Silver Spring. The application is a request by White Oak Self Storage to rezone approximately 2.62 acres of property from the CR-2.5, C1.5, R-1.5, H-200’ (Commercial Residential) to CRTF 2.25, C-2.25, R-1.5, H-200’ (Commercial Residential Town Floating). The applicant proposes to use the property to continue self-storage, expand the existing structure by 3,600 square feet and build a new freestanding 116,000-square-foot self-storage building. The hearing examiner recommends approval of the local map amendment.
Bill 17-23, Taxation – Recordation Tax Rates – Amendments
Introduction: Councilmember Kristin Mink will introduce Bill 17-23, Taxation – Recordation Tax Rates – Amendments. The legislation would increase the rate of the recordation tax levied under state law for certain transactions, allocate the revenue received from the recordation tax to capital improvements for schools and to the Montgomery Housing Initiative Fund (HIF), and generally amend the law governing the recordation tax.
The recordation tax applies to the principal amount of debt secured by a mortgage or deed of trust when a house or building is purchased or when a mortgage is refinanced. There are three elements of the recordation tax: the base rate, the school increment rate and the recordation tax premium rate.
The base recordation rate is $2.08 for each $500 on the sale price or, if refinancing, on the additional amount borrowed above the remaining principal. This rate would remain the same under the proposed legislation and the revenue would still be allocated to the County’s general fund.
Bill 17-23 would increase the school increment rate from $2.37 to $3.79 for each $500, effective July 1, 2023. This additional funding would be allocated to Montgomery County Public Schools’ capital projects. The bill would also increase the recordation tax premium from $2.30 to $3.45 for each $500, effective on July 1. The premium applies to the cost of a property or a refinancing that is in excess of $500,000. These funds have been used for monthly rental assistance and to make housing units affordable for seniors with low incomes.
Additionally, Bill 17-23 would add a new premium rate of $1.15 for each $500 or fraction of $500 of the amount that exceeds $1 million. This additional revenue would be allocated to the Montgomery Housing Initiative and be split between County government capital projects and rental assistance for individuals with low and moderate incomes.
Councilmember Will Jawando is a cosponsor of Bill 17-23. A public hearing is scheduled for April 11 at 1:30 p.m.
Bill 25-22, Forest Conservation – Trees
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 25-22, Forest Conservation – Tree, which contains changes to the County’s Forest Conservation Law and Forest Conservation Regulations. The amendments to the Forest Conservation Law and regulations will help the County achieve greater forest planting and forest conservation with a goal of no net loss. The Transportation and Environment (TE) Committee recommends enactment with amendments.
The lead sponsor is former Council President Gabe Albornoz, at the request of the Planning Board.
Bill 28-22, Common Ownership Communities – Duties, Requirements and Procedures
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 28-22, Common Ownership Communities – Duties, Requirements and Procedures, which would amend the Montgomery County Code to require periodic training for members of a governing board of a common ownership community; clarify common ownership community registration, voting and dispute resolution procedures; and outline criteria that the County’s Commission on Common Ownership Communities considers in accepting jurisdiction over a dispute involving a common ownership community. The Planning, Housing and Parks (PHP) Committee recommends enactment with amendments.
The lead sponsor is former Council President Albornoz, at the request of the County Executive.
Bill 3-23, Environmental Sustainability – Montgomery County Green Bank
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 3-23, Environmental Sustainability – Montgomery County Green Bank, which would make climate change mitigation and adaptation a prominent focus of the Montgomery County Green Bank’s mission and would authorize the Green Bank to engage in resilience-related activities, if it is advantageous to the County. The bill does not commit the Green Bank to engage in any specific resilience activities, nor does it require the County to commit any resources to the Green Bank in support of resilience activities. The TE Committee recommends enactment with amendments.
The lead sponsor is the Council President, at the request of County Executive.
Expedited Bill 5-23, Personnel and Human Resources – Prospective Employees – Health Care Privacy
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Expedited Bill 5-23, Personnel and Human Resources – Prospective Employees – Health Care Privacy. The expedited bill would limit inquiries by the County regarding certain health information for prospective employees, prohibit inquiries by the County regarding certain reproductive health information of prospective employees, limit consideration of certain health information of prospective County employees and generally amend the laws regarding human resources and health care privacy. The Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee recommends enactment with amendments.
Councilmember Dawn Luedtke is the lead sponsor. All Councilmembers have signed on as cosponsors of Bill 5-23.
Bill 8-23, Boards, Committees, and Commissions – Open Meetings – Supplemental Requirements
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 8-23, Boards, Committees, and Commissions – Open Meetings – Supplemental Requirements, which would require boards, committees, and commissions to publish, within certain timeframes, the dates, times and locations of meetings, meeting agendas, and meeting minutes, among other measures. The bill would generally amend the laws regarding boards, committees and commissions, and regarding open meetings. The GO Committee recommends enactment with amendments.
Bill 8-23 sets clear and consistent deadlines for the more than 80 County government boards, committees and commission that meet to inform the public and advise policymakers about issues impacting the community. The legislation requires the deadlines for groups to publish basic information critical to transparency.
Councilmember Luedtke is the lead sponsor of Bill 8-23. Councilmember Sidney Katz and Council President Glass are cosponsors.
Expedited Bill 4-23, Administration – Non-Merit Positions – Special Projects Manager
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Expedited Bill 4-23, Administration – Non-Merit Positions – Special Projects Manager, which would create a second non-merit special projects manager position in the Office of the County Executive. The Office of the County Executive currently has one special projects manager and Bill 4-23 would increase this number to two.
The special projects manager is a senior-level position responsible for planning, developing, coordinating and implementing projects within the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer. The County Executive has stated that one major initiative for this new position would be to help bridge the digital divide by coordinating efforts to extend the physical infrastructure needed for better access to high-speed broadband. The GO Committee recommends enactment with an amendment proposed by Councilmember Stewart to sunset the position in three years.
The lead sponsor of Expedited Bill 4-23 is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive.
Bill 18-22, Noise Control – Leaf Removal Equipment – Amendments
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 18-22, Noise Control – Leaf Removal Equipment – Amendments. The legislation would prohibit the sale and use of combustion engine-powered leaf blowers and leaf vacuums by a certain date and authorize a grant program to partially offset the cost of replacing a combustion engine-powered leaf blower or leaf vacuum with an electric leaf blower or leaf vacuum. The Council held a work session to review the legislation and proposed amendments on March 7. The TE Committee recommends enactment with amendments.
The lead sponsor of Bill 18-22 is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive.
Each item on the Council’s Consent Calendar can be found on the Council agenda for Tuesday, March 21, which is available on the Council website.
Unless otherwise noted, the Council will hold the following public hearings at 1:30 p.m. Residents can visit the Council website to learn about the multiple ways to provide testimony.
Bill 11-23, Motor Vehicles and Traffic – Traffic Control Signals, Devices, and Enforcement Action Plan (The Safe Streets Act of 2023)
Amendment to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program and Supplemental Appropriation to the FY23 Capital Budget, Montgomery County Public Schools, Relocatable Classrooms (No.846540), $7,500,000
Supplemental Appropriation to the FY23 Capital Budget, Montgomery County Public Schools, HVAC (Mechanical Systems) Replacement: MCPS (No. 816633), $25,000,000
Amendments to the Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan: Water and Sewer Category Change Requests
Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on seven category change requests to the Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan within the Potomac Subregion Master Plan area. The requests involve consideration under the Potomac Peripheral Sewer Service Policy. The TE Committee recommends approval.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and FEMA Reimbursement
Update: The Council will receive an update on ARPA and FEMA Reimbursement. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed ARPA into law to support the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The County government received $204.1 million in two equal tranches in June 2021 and June 2022. Jurisdictions have until Dec. 31, 2024, to obligate ARPA funds, and until Dec. 31, 2026, to spend them. Since receiving notice of its ARPA allocation, the Council has taken a people-centered approach focused on assisting those most impacted by the pandemic, while also critically analyzing spending alternatives through a racial equity and social justice lens.
As part of the FY21 and FY22 budgets, the County Executive included FEMA reimbursements as a resource for the first time due to anticipated reimbursements for COVID-19 pandemic-related expenditures. On March 16, 2023, Executive Branch staff provided a FEMA reimbursement update, which indicated that the County had submitted $64.9 million for FEMA reimbursement to date. Of that amount, the County has received $54.5 million and $10.4 million has been obligated by FEMA and the County is awaiting payment from the state. Additionally, $38.9 million is in various stages of the FEMA pre-approval process, and $52.6 million is currently under review and in the documentation process.
FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program
The County Executive’s Recommended FY23 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) were transmitted to the Council on January 18, 2022. The CIP’s cover larger long-term investments in facilities and infrastructure or capital projects.
During the afternoon meeting, the Council will hold a work session to review amendments to the FY23-28 CIP and committee recommendations for the following departments and projects:
- Economic Development
- County Offices and Other Improvements
- M-NCPPC Parks
- Burtonsville Community Revitalization
- Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation
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 recommends that residents, who choose to attend in-person Council meetings, get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. If this is not possible, virtual participation is encouraged.
Council and committee meetings are 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: 23-098
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926, Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884