From Friends of Harford:
Citizens’ Voice for Responsible Land Use
Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2016
(2015 – 2016)
Friends of Harford (FoH) is proud to be .
Our goal is a fair balance between the rights of those wanting to develop a property and the rights of neighbors who might be harmed by that development.
To do this, we:
· We promote legislation to protect Harford’s quality of life and environment.
· We inform people about development plans, laws and processes, and encourage public participation.
· We share what we’ve learned when people ask us for help.
This past year, Friends of Harford:
· Continued efforts to get legislation protecting private properties from the intrusive, excessive outdoor lighting that afflicts so many throughout the County.
· Worked with the Administration to promote awareness and encourage public input into the HarfordNEXT Master Plan. We represented the public in a discussion of HarfordNEXT on Harford Cable Network, and are a member of the Planning & Zoning Transition Team.
· Issued 37 “FOH Alerts” for Community Input Meetings (CIM), Development Advisory Committee (DAC) meetings and Special Exception (SE) Hearings.
· Researched and provided information to the public on Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
· Supported the part of Bill 15-027 that would extend public sewer to older homes along Route 152 in Fallston, while strongly opposing public sewer for agriculturally-zoned property outside the Development Envelope.
· Worked against passage of Bill 15-036, which massively changes the entire purpose and use of Mixed Office properties in Harford without proper public review through HarfordNEXT. The Bill passed, exposing the Creswell area to major commercial and high-density residential development in what is now a rural, farming area.
· Reduced the destruction of wetlands by our testimony on Bill 16-002. Amended Bill passed.
· Provided information to individual members of the public.
This coming year we will:
· Request legislation enabling the public to know about and to testify on amendments to bills, since amendments can drastically change bills.
· Lobby to return your legal right to ask Planning & Zoning to explain their INTERPRETATION of the Zoning Code when you think they are applying it improperly.
· Continue to support the public’s interest and participation in HarfordNEXT, Comprehensive Rezoning, other rezoning proposals, zoning code changes and other laws to our protect Harford’s quality of life and environment.
· Continue to promote legislation for effective lighting which is not harmful.
“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” – Aldo Leopold, American author, scientist, environmentalist