Councilman Jon Weinstein today announced he will file emergency legislation to prohibit issuance of any building permits within the Tiber Branch Watershed for a period of 12-months.
The legislation, titled the “Tiber Branch Watershed Safety Act” will pause development to give the county government and County Council the necessary time to evaluate the May 27 flood that struck Historic Ellicott City, the second devastating storm to strike the area in 22 months.
“The Tiber Branch Watershed, especially the Ellicott City Historic District is extremely sensitive to the dramatic storms that we are seeing in the area with great frequency and intensity.” Councilman Weinstein said. “This bill will allow the county time to implement infrastructure projects resulting from the 2016 flood, review and re-prioritize new projects based on the studies and Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan, and for the Council to consider changes in laws and regulations designed to protect this community.”
Among the actions that the bill outlines during the 12-month building prohibition are:
- * Analysis of the flood based on the models and findings of the 2016 Ellicott City Hydrology/Hydraulic Study;
- * Plans for construction of stormwater storage facilities and infrastructure improvements throughout the watershed;
- * Analysis of any watershed impacts of proposed development and redevelopment projects;
- * Options for retrofitting existing developments built without stormwater management requirements;
- * Examination of density and open space zoning regulation changes in the watershed; and
- * Review of past and future development of public facilities in the watershed, including state roads, school system and government properties.
“Rebuilding Ellicott City stronger, smarter, and safer requires more than just construction materials,” Weinstein said. “This legislation will enable the county government and Council to establish a better regulatory framework and continue with improvements to the stormwater and flood mitigation infrastructure.”
The Tiber Branch Watershed Safety Act will be filed by June 21,2018, introduced on July 2, and voted on July 27. As an emergency bill, the measure requires four votes to pass and would go into effect immediately upon passage. A public hearing on the bill, along with other legislation introduced on July 2, will be held on Monday, July 16 at 7:00pm in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City.
Expected timeline for the legislation:
– Pre-File Legislation, 6/21
– Introduction/1st Reading, Monday 7/2
– Public Hearing/2nd Reading, Monday 7/16
– Work Session, if needed, Monday 7/23
– Vote/3rd Reading, Friday 7/27
Come back to this page soon for a link to the filed legislation.
As a member of both the County Council and Zoning Board, Jon has worked diligently to balance the county’s development, economic growth, environment, and infrastructure. Redeveloping Downtown Columbia, rebuilding Historic Ellicott City, renewing Elkridge, and revising the County’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance have been significant matters during his first term. Jon has worked with key stakeholders on all these and other development matters to seek a balanced approach to development in Howard County. Learn more: http://vote4jon.com/leadership-and-action/land-use/