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Position is open on Howard Board of Appeals


*TC Twice a week you'd get to answer questions like this: County rules say the back of my house must be at least 30 feet from my property line. It's 40 feet away. But I want to build a 15-foot deck. Can I?

If this sounds interesting -- and if you have special interest in Howard County land use -- the County Council wants to hear from you.

The council this week began accepting applications for a vacancy on the Howard County Board of Appeals, a five-member body that decides on exceptions to county zoning rules.

The board meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings each week -- about two hours a session. Members receive a maximum of $6,500 each year -- $2,000 base salary plus $45 for each public session.

Those interested should send a letter and resume by Nov. 3 to Christopher Emery, Council Administrator, Howard County Council, 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, 21043.

In other Board of Appeals business this week, the County Council voted not to fill the board's administrative assistant vacancy, citing a need to save money.

The duties instead will be split among staffers at two other offices -- the Zoning Board and Office of Law. Council Chairman Charles C. Feaga said the council could reconsider if those performing the work become too busy with their extra duties.

Board member George Layman said he hopes the board can carry on without an assistant. But he said he's worried the board will not get decisions out to people quickly enough.

"If they're not out there, we're going to hear from the public," he said.

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