County residents will get their first chance this week to express their views on a draft proposal that would give the county's planning and zoning director the power to deny approval for a development if public facilities cannot support the growth.

The County Council will conduct a public forum on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Southampton Middle School in Bel Air. Public comment on the proposal is encouraged at the forum.

The forum is not considered a public hearing because the draft law has not been formally introduced as legislation.

The proposal for the so-called adequate public facilities law was unveiled at the council's Sept. 20 work session when the seven-member Services Study Commission issued its final report. The county commission has been studying the issue for the past two years.

Adequate public facilities laws, or APFs, are designed to ensure that public services keep pace with development.

The proposal made by the county Services Study Commission recommends:

A requirement that the developer provide a cash deposit, letter of credit or other county-approved financial security to cover all necessary public facilities costs before a final plat is recorded.

A provision to phase in development in tandem with improvements aimed at remedying inadequate public facilities.


A passenger in a county Office on Aging van that collided with a truck at a Dublin intersection last May is suing the county, the van's driver and the driver of the truck for a total of $2.25 million.

Courtney M. Brooks of Darlington filed the suit in county Circuit Court on Oct. 3.

Brooks claims in the suit that each of the defendants acted negligently and caused her to be injured in the accident.

In addition to the county, Brooks names Leilonie T. Baer, driver of the county van, and David S. Gorrell of Forest Hill, driver of the pickup truck, as defendants in the suit.

Brooks is asking that each of the defendants pay $750,000, the suit says.

In the suit, Brooks claims that she was hospitalized for 30 days for treatment of a punctured lung, fractured pelvis, broken collarbone, severe edema and contusions.

The accident occurred at the intersection of routes 136 and 440 on May 1.

Darlington residents Iona Pierce and Casimier Szymanowicz, both 72, were killed. Brooks and four other passengers were injured.

Baer stopped the van at a stop sign on Route 440 and then proceeded through the intersection, a police report says. While in the intersection, the van was struck by Gorrell's truck, police said.

Baer, who pleaded guilty to a charge of negligent driving, told police that she did not see the pickup when she stopped at the intersection, the report says.

Members of the Darlington United Methodist Church have called on the state to improve the safety of the intersection. But state officials say any improvements are at least two years away.


County Circuit Judge William O. Carr has delayed rulings in two lawsuits filed by members of the county Deputy Sheriffs Union against Sheriff Dominick J. Mele over his policy on political activity.

Carr said in a letter to attorneys in the cases that he will put off his rulings until December, pending the outcome of the Nov. 6 general election.

"I believe that both of these cases will resolve themselves with the passage of time," Carr said in his letter, which was dated Oct. 1.

Mele lost his re-election bid in the Democratic primary to Robert E.

Comes by more than 4,000 votes. He is waging a write-in campaign to win back his job.

The union, which endorsed Comes, filed suit in August, asking the court to overturn Mele's policy limiting political activity by members of the sheriff's department.

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