Proposed ordinance would provide the public more time to comment on zoning proposals (PGC Council)
In September, there was an ordinance, CB-093-2022, was introduced in the Prince George's County Council that would add an additional" preliminary hearing process" on proposed zoning legislation. On its surface, the bill may not seem important to the general, but this would be a significant addition to the process.
The reasoning given for this change is to allow the public and interested government agencies to comment on the proposal before its reviewed by a Council standing committee. As the bill is currently drafted, the preliminary public hearing would be scheduled within two weeks after a bill is presented by the Council. The legislation would require a minimum of seven days after the conclusion of the preliminary hearing before it appears on a Council committee work session agenda.
The bill makes significant changes to the section referring bills to the County Planning Board. It removes language mandating the planning board submit comments within five days of a bill's referral date. Text was also removed, stating that the County Council does not schedule a public work session on the proposed legislative amendment to the local zoning laws prior to the conclusion of the five-day referral period.
A new section of the bill is added regarding proposed information hearings:
"(d) Preliminary Informational Hearing on Zoning Legislation
After a legislative amendment to the local zoning laws is presented by the Council, and before a committee work session before a standing committee of the County Council, the Council shall conduct a preliminary informational hearing on the proposed zoning legislation. The date and time for conducting the preliminary informational hearing shall be scheduled by the Clerk of the County Council and posted on the County Council website. The preliminary informational hearing shall be conducted no less than fourteen (14) days after the presentation of the zoning bill and not less than seven (7) days prior to placement on an agenda for consideration by the respective standing committee of the County Council."
CB-093-2022 was referred to the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee in September but has not had any updates since then. If you want more information on this bill feel free to contact Committee Chair Mel Franklin or Councilmember Dannielle Glaros, the bill's primary sponsor.