In the latest Weekly Wright Report:
- Year 2023-2024 Comprehensive Zoning Process – read now
- WCS Featured Attorney Spotlight: Michael A. Stover, Esq. – read now
Year 2023-2024 Comprehensive Zoning Process
Every four years in Baltimore County, every property is eligible for a change in zoning. This takes place whether the property is classified as residential, commercial, manufacturing or any of the numerous zoning classifications currently allowed.
First, there is an open filing period for the general public and the Baltimore County Department of Planning to file zoning change requests. This will take place between September 1 and September 30, 2023. The Baltimore County Planning Board and the Baltimore County Planning Director may then file additional zoning requests during the month of October. Members of the Baltimore County Council may file additional zoning requests between November 1 and November 30, 2023.
Individual property owners may also file during the first fifteen days of October, however, the filing fees are substantially higher than during the month of September. All filings for zoning changes must be completed for the 2023-2024 comprehensive zoning process by November 30, 2023.
Second, the Baltimore County Department of Planning reviews all issues that have been filed. Public hearings are then scheduled and held before the Planning Board. These hearings will most likely be held in March 2024. After the public hearings on all filed issues, the Planning Board will hold work sessions and vote upon each issue during the months of April and May.
Third, the Baltimore County Council will most likely hold public hearings during the month of June 2024 with subsequent reviews between July and August 2024. The ultimate vote on all issues will be held by the Baltimore County Council by September 1, 2024.
The public hearings for the Planning Board and County Council are typically held in high schools located in each Councilmanic District. Any interested citizen may speak for approximately two minutes after signing up at the beginning of the public hearing. There is absolutely no dialogue between the members of the Planning Board or County Council and the individual speaking. The Department of Planning does an excellent job of keeping the public up to date on the process on the County website under “CZMP”. Each zoning request is provided an Issue number and pertinent information such as property owner, address, existing zoning, requested zoning and size of the property are included on the website and updated throughout the process. The recommendations for the zoning change request are also provided by the Department of Planning and Planning Board once their reviews are completed.
The Baltimore County Department of Planning and County Council sometimes attempt to “down-zone” properties during the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process. This means that a commercially zoned property may be down- zoned to allow a more restricted commercial use, thus possibly affecting the property value. Residentially zoned land may also be “down-zoned” to allow a lesser number of houses to be developed, therefore substantially reducing the value of the land.
If you are considering a zoning change or become aware of an issue that may affect your property value, your business or neighborhood, now is the time to consider taking action. Members of the Baltimore County Planning Staff will review each petition filed for each Councilmanic District. Planning Staff and County Council members are often willing to meet with individual property owners and community associations to discuss the re-zoning issues. It is important for your views and the views of your community be made known to the Planning Office, Planning Board and County Council.
If you have any questions about this post please contact Neil Lanzi at email@example.com/410-659-1390.
WCS Featured Attorney Spotlight: Michael A. Stover, Esq.
This week’s WCS Featured Attorney Spotlight features Michael A. Stover, Esq. Mr. Stover has practiced law for over 31 years. He joined Wright, Constable & Skeen to help lead the Surety & Fidelity law practice at the firm, which has become one of the most well-recognized practices nationally in the surety industry.
What/Who was your inspiration to pursue law school/legal career?
My mom worked in the insurance industry and suggested that I study law after college.
When it comes to your practice, what types of case/matters come across your desk most often?
Surety Construction cases come across my desk most often.
Have you handled matters that aren’t in your typical practice wheelhouse?
Yes, Government Contracts, Insurance Defense, Professional Malpractice and Litigation.
Are you involved in any associations, clubs, community organizations or nonprofits you are passionate about?
In 2010, I spearheaded the creation of the Philadelphia Surety Claims Association and currently serve as a founding Officer and member of the Board of Directors. I’m a Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation. I also am a member of many regional and national association’s.
Is there a little known fact about you – something people may not know?
I married my high school sweetheart, I played varsity football and my wife was a cheerleader, we have 7 children and 4 grandchildren, and my second child was born in the backseat of my car.