Time to strengthen public facilities ordinance [Letter]

Last week, the media finally reported that the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance in Howard County needs updating, and even then only because the two county executive candidates started talking about it ("County executive candidates to revisit public facilities requirements," April 4). The media has ignored until now what others have long been talking about. The current ordinance can slow development if elementary schools and nearby street intersections are not ready to handle the increased load. The Howard County Citizens Association has been talking with county officials for years about the need to expand the ordinance as other counties have done to include such things as medical facilities capacity, emergency room wait times, sewer and water capacity and police and fire/rescue services availability.

Howard Council District 1 candidate Lisa Markovitz advocated for these things while she was on the HCCA's board of directors, and during her current campaign she has repeatedly advocated for updating the ordinance to make it more encompassing of the many issues affecting our quality of life. She believes that public safety, health care and high school issues also need to be considered when approving new development and that the allowable school loading factor should be lowered from the current 115 percent down to 100 percent.

Bear in mind that updating the ordinance is the responsibility of the Howard County Council, not the county executive.

Sara Arditti, Ellicott City

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