Advertisement

Howard lawmaker proposes community liaison position to help residents understand zoning

County Councilman David Yungmann has filed legislation to create a community liaison position to help people understand and navigate the land-use process, addressing issues such as stormwater management standards, historic preservation requirements and zoning regulations.

“We have four zoning authorities or boards," said Yungmann, the council’s District 5 representative. “They all have different rules of procedure. Very frequently, one side is represented by an attorney. It’s hard for individuals and small groups to participate in that process without feeling outgunned or just confused."

Advertisement

Yungmann, who filed the proposal Aug. 21, is unsure how much the position would cost but said it would be funded through the County Council’s budget.

“I wouldn’t exclude an attorney from applying [to the position], but it’s not a role that will provide legal advice,” he said.

The proposal filed by the Republican would allow the County Council to employ at least one person to serve as the “community zoning case navigator.” The liaison would provide the public with unbiased information to those inquiring about the process and procedures of land-use cases before the county.

The proposal allows for the navigator to give information to opposing parties in land-use cases and disallows the person holding the office to be employed or affiliated with organizations that represent parties in land-use matters in Howard County.

The job would also require the navigator to act as a liaison between the public and the Department of Planning and Zoning. The proposal also requires the person to submit an annual report.

After leaving the role, the navigator will not be allowed to be employed or affiliated with an entity that represents any party in land-use matters in Howard County for at lease one year upon departure.

Advertisement
Advertisement