The County Council had its first significant legislative session on February 4. It was a collaborative effort by all council members to find common ground and smart solutions. I am pleased that the final version of CB4-2019, dealing with a "necessary disturbance" exemption around streams, wetlands, and steep slopes reflected the efforts of the entire Council to create a workable solution for the near future. We did our homework, talking to the county departments, industry experts, and environmental advocates. 

We all voted to retain the necessary disturbance exemption to ensure that our county departments could service public stormwater and sewer infrastructure and that mitigation would be used to enhance and restore degraded habitats. Councilmembers Yungmann and Jones introduced an amendment that requires DPZ to collect information about the how the exemption is used, and I introduced an amendment to their amendment that will significantly strengthen environmental protections and transparency in the county. Thanks to Councilmember Walsh for introducing this bill and bringing attention to this important issue.

CB-3, also introduced by Councilmember Walsh, would have granted the Historic Preservation Commission new oversight powers that are not presently mandatory for developers and others seeking a Certificate of Authority from the Commission. There are conflicts within the regulations regarding which entity has ultimate authority over these matters so the Council voted to table the bill while further exploring the best way to resolve the conflicts.

Finally, CR-3 was a resolution that allowed the County to enter into a no bid agreement with a developer to rebuild the Sheppard Lane-Route 108 intersection. I voted against the resolution as I believe the community needs an opportunity to weigh in on the road design and the impacts it will have on traffic on Route 108.
County Council Updates
Keeping Up with Deb
Below are some of the events and meetings I have recently attended. Let me know about your community activities so I can stop by, if my schedule allows.

01/31-Clarksville Streetscape Project
02/02 - Lunar New Year at Columbia Mall
02/06 - MACo Meeting
02/07 - Safe and Sound Presentation
Community Affairs
Valentine's Day Masquerade Murder Mystery
February 14th
5430 Vantage Point Road
Columbia, MD

click here for tickets