Shrodes replied that kind of analysis can be an ongoing process, especially in regard to creating a transfer of development rights program.

"Getting into the creation of a TDR program, it's a pretty lengthy and involved process. It itself could take over a year," Shrodes said, pointing out the bill has a deadline. "There's not a one-size-fits-all TDR program that will work for every jurisdiction in the country but I do know that we are up against the clock and this is our last shot at preserving something, a little bit of the value of the land that's out there."

Council president Billy Boniface said he sees the concerns both from an environmental perspective and the perspective of maintaining equity for a farmer maintaining his land.

"While I don't like the idea that we should put more thought into this further down the line, when something like this comes up, if we as a council have the opportunity to help the farmer maintain some of his equity, we have to move forward with that," Boniface said, adding: "The TDR program is being shopped around to everybody but us right now."


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Councilman Jim McMahan said he is "totally against" the act, calling it "an act of outright thievery" from Annapolis.

After approving several amendments, the council voted 6-1 to pass the local legislation; Lisanti was the only one to vote against it.

Tax credits

The council also voted to approve bills changing the Fallston sanitary subdistrict, granting tax credits to properties next to the Magnolia Road waste-to-energy facility and two bills, one of which is an emergency bill, authorizing the county to borrow up to $65 million in bonds for a long list of school, library, water and sewer and other projects.

When Councilman Dion Guthrie questioned the need to pass this as an emergency bill, Hewitt replied: "We started the analysis of what we felt to be refunded and when it was discovered this bond issue was one that was attractive to be refunded, we started the process to put this process in."

She said she believes it was deemed an emergency bill "because of the amount of money it saves our taxpayers," comparing it to refinancing a home.

McMahan also mentioned he has been concerned about the lack of school zone designation in the Route 924 corridor, but a school zone should be designated within the next several weeks between Ring Factory Road and Patterson Mill Road.

The zone will include crosswalks and signs that warn of fines doubled for speeding, among other things, he said.