Liz Walsh, Howard County Council
Liz Walsh, Howard County Council (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A bill intended to expand oversight of Howard County’s Historic Preservation Commission was tabled this week by its sponsor, County Councilwoman Liz Walsh.

Walsh, a Democrat who represents portions of Ellicott City, said the bill would have allowed the preservation commission to reject or approve site development plans for subdivisions in Lawyers Hill and Ellicott City.

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Howard County bills would expand Historic Preservation Commission oversight, limit zoning officials' discretion

A County Council public hearing last week on a pair of proposals by Councilwoman Liz Walsh focused largely on a bill that would give the Historic Preservation Commission more oversight over a proposed subdivisions — including a controversial project in Elkridge.

A second Walsh bill, which she said would have closed “loopholes” in conservation exemptions mandated by the Department of Planning and Zoning, was amended to require that applications for the exemption occur in writing, and for the department to track how often is it applied.

“Plainly, tonight’s [council] votes on those bills did not go the way every Not-a-Developer-or-Beholden-to-One had wanted,” Walsh posted online. “Over the next few days we’ll rehash here why we think that happened, what we’ll do differently in March.”

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