The GBC recently submitted testimony to the Howard County Council in opposition to Bill No. 38 -2019 — The Patapsco Lower North Branch Bill. This legislation seeks to prohibit virtually any development, redevelopment, public works projects, and even the ability for homeowners to make minor improvements to their property within the Patapsco Lower North Branch Watershed.
While the GBC is strongly supportive of responsible development and reasonable environmental protections, this bill vastly exceeds necessary and reasonable standards. The bill is also not in alignment with the Howard County General Plan, which already strives to achieve managed growth, environmental conservation and sustainable practices.
Testimony submitted by the GBC contends that passage of this bill would hinder economic activity and competitiveness, and would affect economic viability. Often, legislation with entirely good intentions can create many unintended consequences. While it is appropriate for Howard County’s policymakers to address issues related to development, these solutions should be responsible and balanced. The provisions contained in this bill do not, in the estimation of the GBC, present a responsible or balanced approach.