Bel Air board discusses development regulations

Bel Air town commissioners again reviewed changes proposed to the development regulations, Tuesday, including one that decreases the number of parking spaces required for business and multifamily housing.

During a work session at Town Hall, Planning Director Kevin Small went through the proposed changes with the commissioners in advance of the public hearing scheduled for the next town meeting.


One of the changes would only affect the residential zone, cutting the required parking spots from 2.5 spots to two, Small said.

He also reviewed the proposed legislation involving group homes with eight people or fewer living there, which would allow the town to treat the housing the same as residential units, including with regard of off-street parking.

A public hearing will also be held at the next town meeting on the fee schedule amendment, which proposes a $30 per household, per year fee for developments that have stormwater ponds the town helps to manage.

Finance Director Lisa Moody also briefed commissioners on the mid-year budget resolution. It is done every year, she said, for department heads to assess where they are and where their budget will be at the end of the fiscal year.

The normal mid-year budget amendment would be roughly $264,000, Moody said, but because of the town's $1.3 million purchase of the Branch Banking and Trust building, it comes to $1,579,219. A financing agreement for part of the purchase price was approved at the previous town meeting.

The majority of increased revenue line items come with corresponding expenditures, such as grants awarded to various town programs, including with the Bel Air Police Department.

The mid-year budget is for introduction only, Moody said, with a public hearing scheduled in March.

Commissioners also discussed a sewer service agreement between the town and the Harford County government. The county raised the bulk rate last week and after the town staff examined it, they found it to be "reasonable," Town Administrator Chris Schlehr said.

Commissioners will need to approve the addendum to the current sewer contract with the county, Schlehr said.

Other business

Brad Helm of the Bel Air Police Department will be honored at the upcoming town meeting.

There will also be a reappointment to the historic preservation commission.

Because of the Presidents Day Holiday, the next town meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.