Monday, March 23, 2009

Temporarily Suspending or Tolling of Fees

Public Hearing
June 2, 2009 – 10:00 a.m.
County Administration Building, Council Committee Room 2027
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive in Upper Marlboro

Bills Updated Status
CB-07-2009 / CB-08-2009

Proposer(s): Dean

Sponsor(s): Dean, Bland

Item Title: An Ordinance

1. CB-7-2009 (Sponsored by Dean) - An Ordinance concerning Validity Periods for Detailed Site Plans and Specific Design Plans for the purpose of temporarily suspending or tolling the validity periods of all Approved applications for Detailed Site Plans and Specific Design Plans that are currently in a valid status. (Held)

2. CB-8-2009 (Sponsored by Dean) - An Subdivision Bill concerning validity periods for Preliminary Plans of Subdivision for the purpose of temporarily suspending or tolling the validity periods of all approved applications for Preliminary Plans of Subdivision that are currently in a valid status (Held)

The hearing held on last Wednesday, March 18, 2009 on the above legislation with the Planning Zoning Economic Development Committee (PZED,) with no doubt would have passed through without our testifying in opposition as the community leader and association member, and President, of the Brandywine / TB, Rt 301 West Region Neighborhood Coalition (The BTB), along with a representative of the District V Coffee Club.

We must inform you that Mr. Tom Dernoga was the only Council member who required investigative questions regarding this legislation. It has been tabled until Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm., these bills look as if they will get pushed through - with or without amendments concerning the public safety surcharge, without the adjustments in the exemptions, and the new School Surcharge for which the Land Developers have paid or are paying a fee of $5,000, instead of the current fee since 2005 of $12,000+.

At the March 18, 2009, PZED hearing it was stated: “For that reason, we did not collect ANY surcharge fees until recently, to date for the last 18 months a total of $794, 000, for 2008 and $22,700 for 2009”. Now, we are collecting a little, but the plans in the pipeline are to exempt!

The Planning Board submitted a letter to the committee in support of CB-7-2009 and CB-8-2009. The Office of Law determined that these Council Bills are in proper legislative form with no legal impediments to their enactment.

Tom Haller, representing MTM Builders, and Tom Farasy, representing the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association spoke in support of CB-7-2009 and CB-8-2009. Catharine Taggart-Ross and Kamita Gray addressed the committee in opposition to both Council Bills.

The Prince Georges County Association of Realtors submitted a letter in support of CB-7-2009 and CB-8-2009. Remember these are the same Developers that sold us these inflated houses made the come back to us the community and cry wolf.

Please pass on: Your “PRESENCE” and “VOICE” is absolutely critical! We know that this information can be overwhelming, but please read all for YOURSELF, and be empowered.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND… In 2005, there was an influx of applications due to the fact that Surcharge Fees where about to increase and the State placed a grandfather rule on the public safety surcharge so that it does not apply to subdivision plans filed prior to 7/1/05. The development community filed a lot of plans just prior to that date to avoid the surcharge. They did the same thing in 2003 or 2004 when the education surcharge increased from $5,000 to $12,000.

So, while the purpose of CB-7, CB-8-2009 is to waive surcharge fees, one possible consequence of the extension of the validity period is that “Grandfathered” plans will become a “GREAT” Grandfather! …. while the County Executive, Jack Johnson, and some of the County Council members were in favor of Legislation to Raise our property taxes (Homestead Bill) due to the Economic downturn, the Land Developers have been working to get “CREDITS” ... Since 2005! Land Developers Builders have ONLY paid a fee of $5,000 when the fees should have been $12,000+, and NO PUBLIC SAFETY SURCHARGE FEES!

We have a shortfall in the Prince George’s County Budget for Public Safety, we may loose Police Officers and Services to furloughs and layoffs, why are we not speaking out about this injustice to the tax papers, when the “Public Safety Surcharge” is not being paid by the Land Developers and Builders, therefore a major contributing cause of the shortfall in the “Public Safety Budget” a direct cause of “Public Safety” cuts.

On Monday, March 30, 2009, 08:00 AM-10:00 AM, Greenbelt Marriott 6400 Ivy Lane Greenbelt, MD 20770….The Annual Breakfast of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association Prince George's Liaison Committee with the County Executive and County Council.

This event was a celebration and is held every year with our Prince George's County Council, and in our opinion is a conflict of interest. They facility direct access to decision makers. If this legislation is passed that will give the Land Developers a BIG SAVING$ on us the Tax payers. FYI, the same “Party” was held in Montgomery County but the Legislation was only proposed for 8 Months and very limited, Prince George’s County Proposed Legislation is for 24 Months Or 2014.

TRANSFORMATION: We can not stress enough how outraged and appalled we were, in discovering this Legislation and all constituents should be. Again, we are not sure as to why there is not more outraged, for reform but all that we are getting is the “Spare Change” oh that’s right there is no “Spare Change”. 2010 we need change and that starts at the grassroots level, US. One, by one, we must come together and become many, power is in the people. We proved that in the 2008 elections let’s do it again!

Remember, this is no more than the AIG scandal. Big, profits before people and greed.

The Land Developers and the Builders sold us these homes that are now, in foreclosure, or upside down in our County. We as Prince Georgians have to bear the brunt of this downturn while these Land Developers and Builders go back to their Counties, and States, with our fees and their profits. Fiscal Responsibility: If the Council were to grant an exemption for the Public Safety surcharge fees, the fees are waived from the general fund. And guess who gets to make up the shortfalls to pay for the new infrastructure and police and fire coverage increases created by new development, if impact fees aren't collected? Current taxpayers, and if I remember correctly, aren't the impact fee payments delayed on developers who build homes until the property is sold? And, why do we need more homes in a sea of foreclosed homes, and new homes elsewhere in the County, that just aren't selling? Why? HAS THE MAJORITY OF COUNCIL MEMBERS ALREADY DISCUSSED THIS IN PRIVATE, AND DECIDED TO RUBBER STAMP THIS?

Please, VOICE YOUR OPINION, good, bad or indifferent!

THESE BILLS…CB-07 / 08-2009 are Crossfiled with

GAZETTE 1. Council proposes extending development deadlines [ 5.068%
.. size of the development. Two bills, CB-7 and CB-8, sponsored by Dean, ...
Publication date: Thursday March 5, 2009
Issue: Prince George's County

HB921 assigned to Environmental Matters Committee

Delegate Maggie McIntosh, Chair
Delegate James E. Malone Jr., Vice Chair

SB958 assigned to Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
Senator Joan Carter Conway, chair
Senator Roy P. Dyson, Vice Chair,
Jack B. Johnson County Executive,

PZED Committee Members:
Samuel H. Dean, Chair,
Eric C. Olson, Vice Chair,
Marilynn M. Bland,
Thomas E. Dernoga,
Camille A. Exum,


  1. On 3/23/09 3:21 PM, "Rand/Fran Rensvold"

    I am unable to be at tomorrow's meeting to make oral presentations. Therefore, this submittal will be my citizen's input to these two bills, because the wordings are parallel.

    You all are shooting yourselves in the proverbial foot. Many citizens recognize that there will not be a lot of building for the next few years, which means no money coming in for Public Safety or the new School Surcharges, two areas where the County already is underfunded. This bill certainly seems appropriate for all developments where the developers have to pay the $12000 surcharge per house. The problematic part comes with extending the validity of all those developments grandfathered in from before 2005 and earlier when the School Surcharge increased from $5000 to $12000. Those developments also do not pay Public Surcharge fees. That means for years to come after April 15, 2011, the grandfathered developments will be paying lower surcharge fees and holding the County back from funding its urgent needs in Public Safety and the Schools.

    In addition, those grandfathered developments will be able to undercut the pricing of the developers paying the $12000 School Surcharge. That means the developers paying full freight will have to stretch out their building plans over more years, maybe even delay them, which of course means the County still will not be getting enough funds to pay for even more urgent needs. This doesn't seem fair to these developers or your constituents.

    Business men, which developers are, know about slow periods in business. The better ones know to prepare for it. For those developers who filed far more applications than they could logically accomplish in the open time period, extending their validity periods should hinge on paying the same surcharges as the developers who are paying the $12000 rate. This is the only fair thing for your constituents and especially for those in District 9/Legislative District 27. We have suffered enough of paying taxes and getting nothing done on our schools. We finally are getting the improved safety, but certainly virtually nothing in our schools.

    Therefore, my position is to oppose CB-7-2009 and CB-8-2009 in their present form. Have every developer, yes, the grandfathered ones too, pay the full surcharge rate. Otherwise, let the grandfathered developments die in accordance with their earlier approved periods of validity.

    Frances D. Rensvold, representing myself
    Brandywine, MD

  2. I appreciate your keeping us up-to-date on these matters. I linked to you in my post of the upcoming hearings & I quoted you here:

    I hope the Prince George's Bloggers news feed:

    The Bloggers are:

    Would you like to be added? (One more thing to find time to do, but it gets priority over my town sites.)

    - Joyce Dowling

  3. Whoops, type-o's: I "host" the Prince George's Bloggers news feed.