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Council to vote on zoning measure for telecommunication antennas on May 15

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Also on May 15: Vote on zoning measure allowing more opportunities for community solar facilities, introduction of bill to modify membership requirements for the Human Trafficking Prevention Committee and public hearing on zoning measures for Signature Business Headquarters

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 14, 2018—The Montgomery County Council will meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 in the third floor council hearing room. The Council will vote on two separate zoning measures. Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 18-02, Telecommunications Towers - Limited Use, proposes new zoning changes for antennas. ZTA 18-01, Solar Collection System – Standards, offers the opportunity to build large solar arrays in residential zones under certain circumstances. It could benefit those who cannot, or prefer not to, install solar panels on their homes.

ZTA 18-02, Telecommunications Towers – Limited Use, is sponsored by Council President Hans Riemer at the request of the County Executive. As introduced ZTA 18-02 would change zoning regulations related to the placement of telecommunications antennas in non-residential zones and the provision for antennas on existing structures in all zones. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee recommended approval of ZTA 18-02 with some amendments. The Committee recommended retaining the current setback and building height standards for antennas on existing facilities in residential zones and adding provisions that will require compatible antenna enclosures where antennas are allowed. The ZTA also would allow more permissive standards for antennas where they are currently allowed. A majority of the Committee recommended lowering the maximum allowable tower heights for new towers that require conditional use approval.

The staff report can be viewed here.

Councilmembers Tom Hucker, who serves as lead for Environment on the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, and George Leventhal, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, are the lead sponsors for ZTA 18-01, Solar Collection System – Standards. Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Roger Berliner, Sidney Katz and Council Vice President Nancy Navarro are cosponsors. ZTA 18-01 would revise the Solar Collection System use standards to allow larger facilities in rural residential, residential, commercial/residential, employment and industrial zones. The ZTA would provide the benefit of solar to those who cannot, or prefer not to, install solar panels on their homes. These projects will enable individuals, businesses or organizations to purchase or lease a share in a community solar project. The PHED Committee recommended approval of ZTA 18-01 as introduced.

The staff report can be viewed here.

The Council also will introduce Expedited Bill 18-18, Human Rights and Civil Liberties - Human Trafficking Prevention Committee – Amendments. Councilmember Tom Hucker is the lead sponsor of Bill 18-18. Councilmember Craig Rice is a cosponsor. The bill would modify the membership of the Human Trafficking Prevention Committee by removing the requirement that each voting member be a resident of the County and adding two voting members from the community.

The staff report can be viewed here.

The Council will continue its work on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 operating budget. The budget items being discussed in the budget worksession are the non-departmental accounts for community grants from the Office of the County Executive and for the County Council. For FY19 the Council accepted 355 community grant applications. The County Executive recommended funding for 42 additional applications that were not previously submitted to the Council, bringing the total number of applications for Council consideration to 397. The County’s Grants Advisory Group made the following recommendations:

    Approve 232 discretionary Community Grants recommended by the County Executive totaling $8,747,930;   Approve 12 Community Service Grants (one-time grants for small capital purchases for health and human service purposes) recommended by the County Executive totaling $63,574; and Approve 113 Community Grants recommended by Council Staff totaling $2,860,024.

    The staff report can be viewed here.

    At 7 p.m., the Council will hold public hearings on the following topics:

    Zoning Text Amendment 18-05, Uses, Use Standards and Regulatory Approvals - Signature Business Headquarters. ZTA 18-05 would will create a new review process for a headquarters or primary place of business that will locate at least 25,000 employees in a single metro policy area.

    The staff report can be viewed here.

    Subdivision Regulation Amendment 18-02, Administrative Subdivision - Signature Business Headquarters, is an accompanying ZTA that would allow for the creation of the Signature Business Headquarters category as a new limited use on commercial zoned properties.

    The staff report can be viewed here.

    The Council meeting and public hearings will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon.

    The Council meeting also will be available live via streaming through the Council web site at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

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    Release ID: 18-140
    Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926