Hayden substitutes building moratorium bill for Honeygo


Facing certain defeat at tonight's County Council meeting, Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden has temporarily withdrawn a bill that would have imposed a three-year building moratorium on Honeygo, a 3,000-acre section of Perry Hall threatened by overdevelopment.

In its place, the executive plans to submit a new bill tonight -- with virtually the same provisions as the first bill, except that the effective date of the ban would be July 6 instead of May 1.

"We haven't changed our minds," Mr. Hayden said Friday of the proposed moratorium. "We have an extraordinary situation [in Honeygo]."

Administrative Officer Merreen E. Kelly said the idea is to give county officials time to negotiate with builders and business people who are adamantly opposed to a complete building moratorium in the area.

The bill that was withdrawn needed five of the seven council members' votes because it was to take effect immediately if it was passed tonight. But only two council members have expressed support for the moratorium, and the other five said they were generally opposed at a work session last week.

The new bill would need only four votes to pass when it is voted on May 18 because it is not an emergency bill and would take effect 45 days after passage, like all non-emergency legislation.

Administration officials say that if they don't impose a moratorium now, builders will file plans for new housing on the largely vacant land before a comprehensive plan for adequate public services in the area is developed. Perry Hall is already flooded with more development than the county can serve with roads and schools.

The Honeygo land is bounded by Belair Road on the northwest, Gunpowder Falls on the north, Interstate 95 and Philadelphia Road on the southeast and Honeygo Run and Chapel Road on the southwest.

Dorothy McMann, president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association, said area residents will be at the council meeting tonight to show citizen support for the plan.

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