My County Council Testimony on Tightening APFO NOW

I testified in front of Howard County Council around 11:00 PM last night. It was a special night. It was 9/11. A terrorist group bombed the World Trade Center, Pennsylvania, and Pentagon in the US 16 years ago. I wore a yellow coat to support our tighten APFO cause. The coat was bought 16 years ago when I graduated from college. We were asking the legislators to tighten APFO (Adequate Public Facility Ordinance) .

Here are my talking points to ask our county council to tighten APFO NOW.

Three loopholes should be removed:

  1. high school should be included in the capacity limit test. I just could not image why high school was not included in the first place.
  2. waiting time should be removed. Right now when a development did not pass a capacity test, it will pass after waiting for four years automatically ( in reality, three years) without a second test.
  3. Includes the Medium and Low Income Housing (MLIH) in the development unit cap. For each new development, it is required there are 15% of MLIH. However, this 15% ( i.e.,around 300 units) are not counted in the annual 2000 unit cap.

Two Numbers should be looked at:

  1. The school capacity limit should be set at 100%, not 115% nor 120%
  2. The developer fee should be raised substantially. Look at my previous post (https://chaowu.org/2017/09/10/unbelievable-low-fee-on-developers-per-house-unit/), for the same housing unit, the developers are paying less than 10% of development fee in Howard County than that of in Montgomery County. The housing price in Howard County is not cheaper than that in Montgomery County either.

I support development since only continuous economic, social and housing development and improvement will solve many problems we are facing today. However, the development should be planned with a long term vision. Unregulated development will lead to chaos such that nobody will be able clean the mess. Tightening APFO now will give our legislators a rare opportunity to clean the mess created more than 10 years ago.

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