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Development Oversight

Development for all.

My family and I live in a new development in Jessup. My husband and I were excited to relocate to Anne Arundel County from Howard County, where we had lived for 13 years. While the move certainly improved our quality of life, there was an issue we hadn't anticipated. Because our new neighborhood is situated next to another neighborhood that is under construction, our neighborhood does not receive general school bus service.

As the President of our neighborhood's homeowners association, in September 2017 I gave a public comment before the Board of Education to make the case for a safe, convenient bus stop to be located within our neighborhood. I invite you to view my three-minute comment here (beginning at 21:15):

The AACPS Transportation Office eventually directed me to seek help from the County, that is, from Planning & Zoning. So I wrote in an email to incumbent Councilman Pete Smith. I wasn't the first to do so, but I laid out the case again. (Contact me through my website if you would like to see the email I wrote.)

I never received a response.

Then I gave a public comment before the County Council. My comment prompted a brief response from Councilman Smith and others (beginning at 22:26):

The suggestion that the developers should be encouraged to complete their work ahead of schedule unfortunately was no answer at all.

No one reached out to me after this meeting, although Councilman Smith and the entire Council had my contact information.

We still don't have a bus stop.

And it doesn't look like we'll get one anytime soon unless something changes. Luckily, it's been a relatively mild winter. But I believe that something more could have been, and should have been, done to address this issue despite the construction of the adjoining neighborhood.

The development process is supposed to provide for new communities to receive all public services in a timely manner. Completing that process in one neighborhood shouldn't be contingent on the completion of some other construction project that the affected neighborhood can't influence. That's development for one, not development for all. Who can influence the process? Our primary elected representative: our Council member.

We need a Council member who will persist in advocating for a timely solution to this type of community problem. Development is going to continue to significantly impact our County over the next 20 years and beyond. We need to ensure that the process is more transparent and that communities are effectively engaged in the process. And we need to hold all of the players accountable for their roles in the development process.

Development for all also means ensuring that our local elected officials have a say in the plan for the SCMagLev, the construction of which will disproportionately impact Anne Arundel County and District 1 in particular. Plans for such a project should move forward only with the approval of the County Council at all significant project milestones.


Authority: Friends to Elect Sarah Lacey, Jacqueline A. Brooks, Treasurer
P.O. Box 925
Hanover, Maryland 21076
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