Howard County Times

County executive candidates to revisit public facilities requirements

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The alleged inadequacy of the Adequate Public Facilities Act is a frequent complaint of community activists opposed to development plans throughout the county. Now, it seems that both candidates for Howard County executive agree.

At separate events this month, Democrat Courtney Watson and Republican Allan Kittleman said APF, which was designed to ensure that infrastructure, including new roads and schools, keeps pace with development, is in need of an update.


Kittleman, a state senator from western Howard, said in a town hall March 22 that he thinks it's time for the county to revisit the act.

"We need to look at what's working and what we can do to make it better," he said, pointing to under-attended schools in the western county and overcrowded ones in the east as a sign that the guidelines, in his view, need to be refined.


On March 26, Watson, an Ellicott City County Council member, touched on APF in a speech at her spring reception.

"We're also going to go back and look at the Adequate Public Facilities ordinance," Watson told supporters at the event. "And the reason for that is we are a county that is not experiencing tremendous new growth like we were in the 1990s. We're experiencing a lot of redevelopment. We want to make sure our facilities keep up with and operate, when we're looking at redevelopment, not just new development."

Watson was introduced at the event by Cindy Ardinger, a friend and former ally during Watson's pre-Council days as an advocate against school overcrowding.

The Adequate Public Facilities Act was last updated in 1992. It requires new development projects to pass three tests, related to the adequacy of housing unit allocations, schools and roads.

Hogan campaigns in Howard

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan and his running mate, Boyd Rutherford, held a series of campaign events in Howard County this week.

The pair stopped at Jostin's Café in Clarksville, Sidamo Coffee & Tea in Fulton and Cacao Lane in Ellicott City to talk with potential voters.

While Howard County Executive Ken Ulman's campaign for lieutenant governor alongside Anthony Brown has garnered lots of attention in the county, he's not the only candidate from Howard – Rutherford lives in Columbia, according to the campaign's website.


Sierra Club endorses Markovitz

The Sierra Club's Maryland chapter has endorsed Lisa Markovitz in her campaign for District 1 on the County Council.

The group cited Markovitz's activism against development at the Normandy Woods shopping center and recently as the leader of a zoning referendum movement as reasons for the decision.

"Lisa Markovitz has been fearless in standing up for environmental positions opposed by special interests," Josh Tulkin, director of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club, said. "We are excited for the opportunity to support a candidate that will become the environmental leader of the Howard County Council."