Why citizens are using their authority Soon Park, Clarksville
Resident (in Korean)
Heavy siltation from proposed Maple Lawn South site (also see video below this.

2015: what it's all about

While we still operate under an apparent system of representative democracy, the system has cracked and broken open!

Real long-standing problems persist — incredible pressures for growth and “development” to transform and use land for housing, business and commercial purposes in Howard County. 

(Continued on the right...)

Government processes seem to be on the up-and-up, and yet, under the influence of developers and lawyers, they are not so.

They use clever hair-raising shortcuts like just-barely-legal timing artifices or intended “public notices” stashed by the roadside with ultraconservative smallish lettering, where you almost need a Fort-Meade sharpshooter to catch their drift.  The SPIRIT of democracy can smell what’s wrong.  Yes, money is being “invested” to have it appear the rule of law is being followed.  ‘Squeaky-clean’ is now simply ‘squeaky’.

Zoning is the public’s tool that makes growth sensible and reasonable. If the intent is to re-zone a certain parcel from “rural” to high-density residential/commercial (whether the change is in the public interest or not is a strongly-implied issue), then how does it happen?

The first requisite is that the property should be in the planned services area, or PSA, where that parcel of land gets water and sewers (sometimes water only).

Property inside the PSA is part of the growth area. Property outside the PSA as of July 1, 2012, can be developed only to a very limited level of growth –demanding critical decisions on how land gets used in the future, linked to quality of life and the environment.

It’s so important that, under the county code, any decision must be made by the Howard County Council in a LEGISLATIVE ACT, or by bill (which is the same thing).  Once done, then we the people of the county have a right or petition to get signatures and put the issue on the ballot.  In important cases it’s exactly like a review: do we accept the Council’s action? Modify it? Or what?

This is called referendum. Remember,

You can imagine how some people would like to get their property in the PSA without anybody knowing it!  That avoids the problems of a potential public vote. 

Now about procedures. As stated above, (the key step is that) the County Council must amend the General Plan, by a properly-made public bill, to show where the boundary of the changed PSA would include a particular piece of property.  The catch is the form in which such a bill occurs. The property must be is clearly shown, and defined by

The bill itself must be worded to show that its purpose is to “amend the PSA to include the property so identified.

In 2012 The County Planning Board considered a new draft for the General Plan. They were presented with particular maps that identified the existing PSA (in the map legend), and then also, in parts of Fulton and Clarksville. Here, the maps bumped up the PSA area impulsively without legal backing (meaning no council vote, and certainly no public testimony; had there been a vote on bill or amendment, it would permit specific review by citizens in a referendum). So far, the majority of concerned citizens believe their preferences were ignored in contravention of the principles of democracy, and the County Charter.

Welcome to our unique web site. Read "what it's all about", on the left just below here — it summarizes the basic issues in the struggle for legal zoning and the violations of the Howard County Code as the basis for strategy to force high-density and imprudent land use. The videos are here temporarily, so please watch this space.

Why the PSA assignment is not lawful .. (54 pages Scroll or click each page to advance.)

Citizens Working to Fix Howard County

c/o P.O. Box 111

Fulton MD 20759-0111

See "ABOUT US" link at the top

Email | Phone Messages 240.389.1770