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Howard County, The Settlement at Savage Mill, Planning Board Hearing

Hiruy Hadgu

A summary of the concerns I raised at the hearing:

  1. The three criteria put forth by the planning board to evaluate the sketch plan hinge on the approval of the land swap, which has not yet taken place. The timing suggests that it will not be considered until after a decision by the board.
  2. The developer also submitted an alternative compliance petition to the department of planning and zoning (DPZ), which is on hold pending decision by the board on the equivalent sketch plan even though the equivalent sketch plan is approved by the DPZ.
  3. The technically-complete claim of the plan is questionable since the developer is not in possession of the parkland, which requires approval by State and Federal agencies.

If the board approves this plan as it is, it can compel those who review the land-swap and alternative compliance petition to approve the requests since the department of planning and zoning (DPZ) recommended approval assuming the approval of those requests. This creates a bias toward a certain outcome.