County Executive Charles I. Ecker, a Republican, and County Council chairman C. Vernon Gray, 3rd District Democrat, plan to jointly sponsor an emergency bill next month that would put an immediate end to the county cap on new residences.
The preamble to the bill states that the growth cap is no longer needed because the pace of housing starts has slowed to fewer than the 2,000-a-year limit under the 1989 cap.
The growth cap would end as soon as the bill is enacted.
The remaining provisions of the 1989 Growth Management Act would remain in effect until Oct. 31 or the adoption of comprehensive rezoning of the western portion of the county, whichever comes first.
To take effect immediately, an emergency bill must receive four affirmative votes from the five council members. If the bill passes with less than that, it goes into effect 60 days later.
At least one council member may oppose the bill.
Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, plans to sponsor an emergency bill of her own that would keep the growth cap in effect until June 16. Pendergrass' bill would amend the building permit allocation process and allow additional building permit allocation certificates to be issued.