and in other news...
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Former Inspector General decries "Montgomery County government's culture of secrecy"
In a Washington Post Opinion piece published 9/23/11, former IG Thomas Dagley said "Montgomery County
would benefit from a cultural change that encourages residents and employees to ask tough questions on
difficult issues--and forces leaders to answer." (click to view Washington Post Opinion piece)
TO CONTACT MCCF, send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click the 'Contact us' button (box under homepage left side menu).
NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNERS & RESIDENTS IN THE WHITE FLINT, GREAT SENECA SCIENCE CORRIDOR,
WHEATON, KENSINGTON, TAKOMA/LANGLEY CROSSROADS, CHEVY CHASE LAKE, LONG BRANCH AND
GLENMONT PLANNING AREAS:
In adopting the new Zoning Code, the Council broke the promise they made with you that the height and building size
standards applied to CR (Commercial/Residential) zone mixed use properties could not be exceeded. Near the
conclusion of their worksession on April 14 the Council members, led by Council member Nancy Floreen, voted to
permit height and density above that allowed by the CR Zone in order to accommodate MPDUs (Moderately Priced
Dwelling Units), in projects where more than the required 12.5% of such units is provided.
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Important news updates posted on this website (most recent item first)
A more detailed explanation of each item below appears on the webpage for the committee shown--
access via the "Current Issues" button in the menu to the left, then select a committee.
- posted 10/24/14 for Planning & Land Use (Floreen alternative change to LATR test for White Oak)
- posted 10/8/14 for Planning & Land Use (Council hearing on ZTA 14-08 to change TS-R zone,
which MCCF explained was "special law for a special case" prohibited by State Constitution)
- posted 10/6/14 for Transportation (WMATA Summary of major Red Line work planned for 2016
- posted 10/6/14 for Public Finance (OLO Report "Alternative Infrastructure Financing Methods")
- posted 10/2/14 for Environment (video and text on management of county deer population)
- posted 8/20/14 in Resolutions (MCCF resolution urging non-vehicular paths in PEPCO r-o-w)
- May 2014, Council amends Planning Dept. Master Plan Work Program as part of FY'15 Budget
- posted 4/17/14 for Planning & Land Use (2014 Draft Mobility Assessment Report delivered to
Planning Board, includes intersection and road congestion data)
- posted 12/2/13 for Public Safety (Final Report and Recommendations of County Executive's Task
Force on Boosting the Nighttime Economy)
- posted 1/31/13 for Utilities (Governor released (Electricity) Grid Resiliency Task Force Report)
- posted 11/16/12 for Planning & Land Use (Council approves 2012 Subdivision Staging Policy)
- posted 5/20/12 for Planning & Land Use (pipeline list of development projects that have been
approved but are not yet built, compiled March 2012)
Report on Design and Construction Flaws in Silver Spring Transit Center released to public
A report from the contracted inspection team entitled "Silver Spring Transit Center Structural
Evaluation of Superstructure" was submitted to county government on March 15, 2013 and released
to public March 19. (click Dept. of General Services webpage for report); 2nd report issued May '14
and Council is receiving regular updates on progress of repairs in anticipation of opening.
County Executive Leggett initiated effort to streamline building and land development
On 1/20/12, County Executive Isiah Leggett unveiled a cross agency initiative to 'green tape' the county's
development approval and building permit processes, to make it less costly and shorten the time for
developers to get approval for new construction projects. (click to view county press release or to view the
DPS webpage for the initiative)
- Proposed Executive Regulations approved that affect Dept. of Permitting Services (DPS) application of the
Fire Safety Code (MCER No. 8-12, 9-12, 10-12, and 11-12). Public comments were due by April 30, 2012.
(click to view proposed DPS Executive Regulations)
- The DPS held a public Streamlining Development Round Table on 5/15/12; a series of worksessions took
place 5/29/12. (click to view email announcing Round Table or upcoming meetings of work groups)
- On 11/27/12 DPS held a Streamlining Development Briefing to update public on the initiative. (click to view
Draft Streamlining Initiative Results)
- In April 2013 a Streamlining Development Executive Committee comprised of government officials and
stakeholders, including the MCCF, was created to oversee implementation of the recommended changes..
12/25/12 Examiner article-"Montgomery County lawmaker pushes 'secret' contract with consultant"
According to this Examiner story, Valerie Ervin has been lobbying her fellow Council members to award a
$1.3m contract to a developer consultant of her choice, to help in streamlining the development approval
process (click to view Examiner article)
1/3/13 Examiner article-"MontCo lawmaker denies 'secret' contract"
In this follow-up Examiner story, Ervin denies she is pushing the $1.3m no-bid contract and says there is
nothing secret about it. But according to a copy of the plan created by the proposed consultant the
document is intended only for the County Council--not the public--unless "a contract is awarded to this offer."
(click to view follow-up Examiner article)
1/4/13 Examiner article-"Union wants Montgomery County planning contract investigated"
MCGEO, the County government employees' union, has called for an investigation of Ervin's push for a
"single source, no-bid contract that would streamline the county's planning processes." (click to view article)
Parents Coalition blogspot posts copy of consultant proposal; says Ervin claims it's not secret
Claiming Ervin states it's not a secret, the Parents Coalition of Montgomery County has posted a copy of the
consultant proposal to streamline development approval. In the plan, the proposed contractor, The Clearing,
includes as a reference their contract to improve the planning process in Calgary, Canada, where Rollin
Stanley is now Planning Director. (click to view consultant's proposal); Ervin has since left the Council.
The December 2014 Civic Federation newsletter is now
available online. (click to view latest newsletter)
MCCF has a weekly column entitled the "Federation Corner" that is published in The
Montgomery Sentinel newspaper. The Sentinel comes out on Thursdays, and is available at
newsstands and in newsboxes at Metro stations throughout the county. Past columns are
archived on this website (see the 'Federation Corner columns' tab in the menu to the left).
Most recently archived column:
10/30/14 Lessons in civic activism on land use issues (click to view)
Celebrating 90 years of service
Program: Emergency Preparedness
Speaker: Chris Voss, Director, Montgomery County
Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security
Community organizations play an important role in emergency
preparedness. To help your community better prepare for
emergencies, take the following steps:
Determine how specific hazards may affect your community.
Determine who may need extra assistance.
Inventory skills and assets.
Educate community members.
County Unveiled New Open Government Data Management Website
This site was established in response to the Open Government Act approved by the County Council
on December 11, 2012, which requires all departments and agencies of county government to
compile the data collected or generated by them onto a single publicly available website. The URL
for the new website is: https://data.montgomerycountymd.gov/
On October 7, 2014 County Council appointed Natali Fani-Gonzalez to fill Planning Board vacancy
The County Council had identified five finalists from the list of twenty-five applicants who filed to fill the Board
vacancy created by Commissioner Anderson being appointed as Chair, replacing retiring Chair Francoise Carrier.
The five finalists were: Victor Weissberg, Natali Fani-Gonzalez, Dennis Kamber, Charles Kauffman, and
Mohammad Siddique. Mr. Siddique subsequently withdrew his name from consideration.
Council members interviewed the four finalists on 9/23. Click to access finalists' cover letters and resumes
|New Zoning Code Took Effect Starting on October 30, 2014
Print copies of the new Zoning Code (Chapter 59 of the County Code) will be available for
purchase from the County Attorney's Office in Rockville some time after the 30th (as opposed to
from Park & Planning as was previously announced). Also starting on October 30, the new
Code can be on the American Legal Publishing website (click to view new zoning code). The
AmLegal site also hosts a click-on button to access the old zoning code.
|NEXT MCCF MONTHLY MEETING
MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014