Harford council again postpones action on master plan

The Harford County Council once again postponed taking a vote on the 2012 Master Plan during its legislative session Tuesday.

The council likewise postponed the introduction of three amendments to the master plan.

Council President Billy Boniface explained Planning and Zoning Director Pete Gutwald was sick and could not present the amendments.

The proposed amendments, which had not been made public previously, would change a small parcel of land in the Perryman area from medium-intensity to high-intensity zoning, would add a small parcel in Churchville to the "Rural Village" designation and would insert language allowing the master plan to be reviewed more often than every six years.

The parcel of Perryman-area land to be changed to high intensity is on the south side of Route 7 (Old Philadelphia Road) between Route 40 and Route 159 (Perryman Road).

The area in Churchville to be added as part of the "Rural Village" is on the south side of Route 22 just east of Route 155 (Level Road).

The public hearing on the legislation to adopt the new master plan was held Feb. 7, but the council declined to take a vote that evening.

The legislation has to be acted on by March 6 or it expires. There are council meetings scheduled for this Tuesday and for March 6.

Other actions

The council also introduced a bill Tuesday to revise the membership and terms of the Human Relations Commission and require the group to submit an annual report.

The council approved resolutions authorizing county departments to receive grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

County emergency operations spokesman Rick Ayers told the council the department has yet to receive any new homeland security funding but he is hopeful.

Councilman Dion Guthrie said he received some complaints about lighting at the Edgewood Boys & Girls Club that have been resolved, and the next task is to fix the holes in its parking lot.

Guthrie also congratulated retiring Maj. Gen. Nick Justice of Aberdeen Proving Ground and indicated he would be sorry to see him go.

"They are dropping like flies over there," Guthrie said of the APG brass. "Everyone's retiring and leaving... He's [Justice] a really interesting guy to hear speak."

Guthrie said a job fair with about 100 defense and intelligence contractors will be held at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen at 2 p.m. on March 8.

Councilman Joe Woods said it is good to see so many people come out to speak a council meetings, even though the earlier public hearing scheduled that evening on the livability code was not held, after the legislation was withdrawn beforehand.

"It's always good to see the chambers full [of people] to express their opinions," he said.

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