Board of Appeals
In 2011, I was appointed to the Board of Appeals for Howard County. The Board of Appeals has two roles in Howard County. In the first role, cases for conditional uses, sometimes called special use permits, are heard by the Board of Appeals Hearing Examiner. Under some circumstances, parties may appeal a decision of the Hearing Examiner and the case will then be heard by the Board of Appeals. When the case is heard by the Board of Appeals, the testimony and evidence is presented again, by all sides (there may be more than two), and the Board of Appeals makes a decision. A similar process is followed for variances.
In the second role, the Board of Appeals will hear cases as an appellate body. In these cases, a decision of some county agency is brought to the Board of Appeals for review. There are numerous routes laid out in the Howard County Code for an appeal to be brought to the Board, and some are heard by the Hearing Examiner before the Board. In the last five years, the overwhelming majority of these were land-use cases originating from a decision of the Department of Planning and Zoning, such as code enforcement decisions, and cases from the Howard County Planning Board, which is authorized to approve development plans based on the Zoning Regulations.
For more information on the Board of Appeals, the Howard County Council maintains a microsite on the Board of Appeals and related topics.
In January of 2016, the County Council reappointed me to the Board.
Public Engagement in Land Use Planning Task Force
The Public Engagement in Land Use Planning Task Force (PELU) was a short-term task force organized by the Howard County Council in early 2008. Members were designated into two groups, those representing residents and those representing businesses. The group had two chairs, one from each group and I was the second co-chair for the resident representatives. The first co-chair was Howard Weinstein. Bill Erskine was the co-chair representing businesses.
Bill set up a blog that we used to communicate. It probably was not the most effective way to do it, but it was easier than setting up a wiki or some other things. Members could use it very effectively, by email if nothing else. It is still posted, though obviously has not been changed since 2008.
- Revised Final Report, that corrects some formatting errors
- Final Report
- Charter of the Task Force, Council Resolution 132-2007
- The Board of Appeals Seeks a New Member (5/9/2017)
- The New Long Reach Village Center (5/2/2017)
- The Land of Milk and Honey (1/18/2017)
- The Severity of Severe Events is Increasing (9/3/2016)
- What is a 100-year flood? (9/2/2016)
- Statistical Likelihood of Extreme Events and the Ellicott City Floods (8/9/2016)
- Tax-Incremental Financing and Downtown Columbia (7/28/2016)
- Duckpin Bowling for Dollars (6/18/2016)
- The Howard County Schools Are Very Sick (6/10/2016)
- Now is the Time for Stormwater Reform (3/8/2016)
- Circling the Drain (1/21/2016)
- Reappointed to the Howard County Board of Appeals (1/5/2016)
- Interstate Love Song…of Confusion (10/18/2015)
- I wonder how zoning works on Qo’noS (8/30/2015)
- Flood Control at the Ground Level (8/25/2015)
- Fix Downtown Columbia Parking Now (6/15/2015)
- Stunt Budgeting in Howard County (5/18/2015)
- Big Data for Locals (10/20/2014)
- Howard County and Moody's (2/19/2013)
- Culture and Transportation (10/27/2010)
- CA Openness and Transparency (4/7/2009)
- PELU Final Report, Revised Edition (5/7/2008)
- PELU Final Report (5/5/2008)
- Video of PELU Hearing (4/23/2008)
- Draft PELU Considerations (4/8/2008)
- Letter to the Long Reach Village Board Regarding PELU (4/1/2008)
- PELU Blog Accepting Testimony via Comments (4/1/2008)
- PELU Public Hearing on Land Use Planning Process (3/27/2008)
- Engaging the Public Through Technology (2/9/2008)
- Broadcasting Howard County’s Governmental Meetings (1/29/2008)
- New PELU Task Force Blog (1/10/2008)
- New Updates to the Howard County Search (9/30/2007)
- More Additions to the Howard County Search (5/23/2007)
- New Search Buttons for Your Toolbar (5/12/2007)
- Add the Howard County Search to Your Website (4/2/2007)
- Updates to the Search List (3/1/2007)
Image by Jim Kuhn via Wikimedia Commons. The Thomas Viaduct was built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the 1830s to provide rail access to Howard County, Maryland.