Thursday, February 7, 2013
Notable outcomes include eased regulations for accessory apartments, passing of the disabled hiring bill and evaluation of potential affordable housing locations.
The Montgomery County Council met Tuesday, Feb. 5. Notable outcomes from the meeting include: County Eases Rules for Accessory Apartments The Montgomery County Council passed a zoning amendment and bill Tuesday that will make it easier for homeowners to add an accessory apartment to a single-family home, The Washington Examiner reported. After almost 10 years of policy discussion, homeowners who want to add a small apartment for an aging parent, a caretaker or a renter can now do so in 90 to 110 days, versus a process that previously took a minimum of five to six months, The Washington Post reported. Residents opposed to the change were concerned it might lead to overcrowding of neighborhood schools, according to The Washington Post, but "…
Thursday, January 31, 2013
And is being "hip" necessary to Montgomery County's future success?
Can suburban Montgomery County be made hip? County Councilman Hans Riemer reportedly believes so: "I really think that we are on the verge of a golden age in Montgomery County," Riemer said at a happy hour called "Can we make the suburbs hip? The future of White Flint," Bethesda Now reported. "The region that we are in is ... dynamic, growing, exciting... . ... But we have to and we are positioning ourselves in that region to capture that future growth," he added, Bethesda Now reported. The White Flint Sector (430 acres bounded by the CSX tracks, Montrose Parkway, Old Georgetown Road and the White Flint Mall) has been approved, so far, to be redeveloped with 2,220 residential units added to the existing housing stock of 2,321 units; 9,801 …
Thursday, December 6, 2012
What do you think of Councilman Roger Berliner’s list of council ‘wins?’
In his last day as president of the Montgomery County Council, Roger Berliner spoke with reporters in Rockville, recounting a year that included continued budget wrangling, squabbles over Pepco's performance and steps to aid small businesses and stimulate economic development. Click here to a see a video of Berliner’s remarks. Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring took the reins as the council’s new president on Tuesday. But before he stepped aside during Tuesday's council meeting, Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Potomac outlined what he sees as the council’s greatest accomplishments during his yearlong term. Click here to read Berliner’s remarks in their entirety. The council on Tuesday also released a list of accomplishments …
Monday, December 3, 2012
The sometimes outspoken councilman says the county has moved forward but "we have serious work to do."
On the eve of his final day as president of the Montgomery County Council, Roger Berliner met with reporters in Rockville to look back on a year that saw continued fiscal reforms, scuffles over Pepco's performance and steps the county took to stimulate small business and large-scale economic development. "We need to move beyond the old Montgomery County way," he said. "We have serious work to do."
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Ervin: ‘We’re turning on a faucet and only letting some drops drip out of the faucet, and then we’re pretending like that’s good enough.’
Officials, advocates and the community at large need to shed outdated ideas about the long-hailed strength of Montgomery’s affordable housing programs, councilmembers say, and come up with concrete plans that work effectively. More than a year in the making, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs has drafted a 100-page housing policy—the first update since 2001—that puts a priority on: Councilmembers want to make sure the county does not rest on the laurels of decades past, when initiatives like the MPDU program LINK made Montgomery a pioneer in affordable housing. “Before we start patting ourselves on the back and congratulating ourselves for all the wonderful things we’ve done, we still have to recognize that Montgomery County…
Monday, September 17, 2012
Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner pursues the idea of a public power system.
The question resurfaces: Should Montgomery County purchase Pepco's infrastructure and turn to public power options? The issue re-emerged this summer as hundreds of thousands of area residents endured a record heat wave without power following the June 29 derecho storm. Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner at the time revisited the idea of an option of a public power system, and on Thursday formally asked the county attorney, Marc Hansen, to review the idea. Hansen last year said the county would need special legislative permission. Another storm this month left 65,000 without power in the Washington area, and county lawmakers have been fielding complaints from business owners of thousands of dollars in lost business, …
Monday, July 9, 2012
Montgomery County Council president is harshly critical of Pepco response to June 29 storm. What do you think of his comments?
After almost 10 days of power outages amid a crippling heatwave, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner says he’s fed up. In a statement released Monday, Berliner lambasted Pepco for its response to the June 29 derecho storm that left as many as 443,000 area residents without power, some up to a week or more. “Our residents have had enough,” Berliner said in a written statement following a press conference. “While this was a big storm and outages are to be expected, Pepco’s performance – on every level – was unacceptable. The length of the outages. The appalling communications. The computer glitches and data discrepancies. The list can go on and on.” Berliner’s suggestions to improve Montgomery County’s power source include: “…
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Effects of shift would devastate county budgets, executives say.
Leaders of counties from around Maryland said a plan to shift part of the cost of teacher pensions from the state would have serious consequences for the budgets of local governments. Nearly two dozen leaders from counties around the state, all members of the Maryland Association of Counties, met in Annapolis on Wednesday to show their opposition to Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to shift to local governments. Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner said his county is already dealing with a budget deficit of its own. "None of us up here are oblivious to the challenges the state faces in balancing its budget and its structural deficit," said Beliner, a Democrat. "We know because we've been doing it for years and years and years now…
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Businesses concerned about the store's potential impact.
An 80,000-square-foot Wal-Mart planned for Rockville Pike is stirring mixed and sometimes passionate reactions from Rockville City Council members, residents and shop owners. Construction of the store, at the Pike Center just south of Twinbrook Parkway—and just outside the city limits, would begin as early as fall. The projected completion date is late 2013. Wal-Mart also is proposing an 118,000-square-foot store in Aspen Hill, with a projected opening in 2013. The Rockville Pike store would replace existing Pike Center stores, including Bagel City, Office Depot and CiCi’s Pizza. A T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant, M&T Bank branch and Jared jewelry store would remain. With Wal-Mart planned, Stephanie Kavadoy’s family business, Bagel City, did …
Sunday, December 18, 2011
But will the county council’s actions match the rhetoric?
This week, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner succeeded Valerie Ervin as the new council president for the coming year. Ervin's term was marked by unprecedented financial challenges brought on by the lingering effects of the Great Recession. Perhaps the most enduring impression she left was the extraordinary unity with which she led the council through this extremely difficult time, and for which she was unfairly singled out for showing some political courage along the way. Berliner will be hard pressed to measure up on that score, but he just might pull it off if he and his colleagues follow through on the direction he set in his first few statements as council president. Right after his election to lead a council not exactly …