Skip to main content

Press Releases - County Council

Council to Receive Update on the County’s Ongoing Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Briefing from the Montgomery County Redistricting Commission on Council District Boundaries at Virtual Meeting on Nov. 9 Starting at 9 a.m.

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 8, 2021

Also on Nov. 9: Council to meet with the Commission on Public Health to receive an update on local public health planning, introduce legislation sponsored by Council Vice President Albornoz and Councilmembers Navarro and Rice to designate an early care and education coordinating entity and vote on legislation to improve police accountability led by Council President Hucker

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, November 9 at 9 a.m. The meeting will begin with two proclamations. The first recognizes Lung Cancer Awareness Month and will be presented by Councilmember Glass. The second, recognizes Native American Heritage Month and will be presented by Council President Hucker, Councilmember Navarro and the Full Council.

Information on each Council agenda item can be viewed below.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and County Public Health Planning

Update: Sitting as the Board of Health, the Council will receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery and vaccination efforts. Those expected to provide information include Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); James Bridgers, acting chief health officer, DHHS; Dr. Earl Stoddard, assistant chief administrative officer, Montgomery County Government; and Sean O’Donnell, program administrator, Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, DHHS. Join the conversation with #COVID-19.

Commission on Health

Briefing: The Council will meet with the Commission on Health which advises the County Executive and Council on local public health planning, programs, services, facilities and data on the health status of the County’s population.  A copy of the Commission’s Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report can be viewed in the Council staff report.

Jessica Kronstadt, chair, Commission on Health will attend and provide information.

Resolution to Support Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Endorsing Equity Emphasis Area as a Key Planning Concept and Tool to Inform Decision Making and Action

Introduction: Lead sponsor Councilmember Navarro will introduce a resolution to support the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's (COG) resolution endorsing equity emphasis areas as a key concept and tool to inform decision making and action. Equity emphasis areas are locations with high concentrations of low-income individuals or racial and ethnic minorities. Councilmembers Katz and Friedson are cosponsors.

The COG Board passed Resolution R47-2021 on Oct. 13, 2021, which endorsed equity emphasis areas as a key planning concept and tool to guide future growth and investment. The concepts will influence decisions related to infrastructure investment, planning program, education, health care, land use, housing, and economic opportunities that will enhance and build on making regions and local communities more racially equitable.

A Council vote is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 16, 2021.

Resolution to Support Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Endorsing High-Capacity Transit Areas as a Key Planning Concept and Tool to Inform Decision Making and Action

Introduction: Lead sponsor Councilmember Navarro will introduce a resolution to support the COG resolution endorsing high-capacity transit areas as a key concept and tool to inform decision making and action. High-capacity transit areas are locations around Metrorail, commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and streetcar stations that are in place or will be in place by 2030. Councilmembers Katz and Friedson are cosponsors.

The COG board of directors passed Resolution R46-2021 on Oct. 13, 2021, endorsing high-capacity transit station areas as a key planning concept and tool to guide future growth and investment decisions related by optimizing land use around these station areas, enhancing transportation connections and creating transit-oriented communities so the region can accommodate future growth and ensure quality places where all residents can thrive.

Declaration of No Further Need – Disposition of the Communications Tower at 4301 Brookeville Road, Brookeville, Maryland 20833

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a declaration of no further need to dispose of a County owned communications tower located at 4301 Brookeville Road in Brookeville, Maryland. The disposition is in the form of a long-term lease to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) that will permit WMATA to use the communications tower for the placement of equipment.

The initial term of the lease is five years and will be renewable for up to four five-year terms or a total of 25 years. WMATA is currently under a two-year license agreement for use of the tower that is due to expire in May 2023.

Greg Ossont, deputy director, Department of General Services is expected to attend and provide information. A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30, 2021.

Declaration of No Further Need – Disposition of 14900 Broschart Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a declaration of no further need to dispose

of County-owned property located at 14900 Broschart Road in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The disposition is in the form of a sale of the two-acre property that contains a power plant that serves the power needs of three buildings developed in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, along with several surface parking spaces.

The County constructed the facility and entered a long-term lease with Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Inc. in 1979. Since then, Adventist HealthCare, the current leaseholder, has made a series of improvements and continues to operate and maintain the facility.

Greg Ossont, deputy director, Department of General Services is expected to attend and provide information. A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30, 2021.

Declaration of No Further Need - Disposition of a portion of Warner Circle Special Park

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a declaration of no further need to dispose of a portion of the County property at Warner Circle Special Park, totaling 4.5 acres, located at 10231 Carroll Place in Kensington, Maryland.  The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has managed and maintained the property since 1979 under an agreement with the County. The property is protected under a historical preservation easement within the Kensington Historic District and is listed on both the Montgomery County Master Plan for Historic Preservation and the National Register of Historic Places.

The disposition is in the form of the sale and renovation to the buyer, Karl Voglmayr, of two historic structures on the site Warner Circle Manor and Carriage House into fifteen market-rate for-sale condominium residences and a public use space. The park grounds will remain owned by the County and managed by M-NCPPC. The buyer will establish a Maryland-registered limited liability company to undertake the renovation and development of the site.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Greg Ossont, deputy director, Department of General Services (DGS); and Miti Figueredo, deputy director, M-NCPPC.

Special Appropriation to the FY22 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), Montgomery County Government, Department of General Services: 260 East Jefferson Street Acquisition, $3,600,000

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a $3.6 million special appropriation to the FY22 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) to acquire approximately half an acre of land located at 260 East Jefferson Street in Rockville, Maryland.

The County intends to use the building for the Department of Transportation’s lost and found, taxi services, commuter services, Ride On pass, customer service and other outward-facing transit operations, eliminating the need for visitors to pay for parking and to navigate services currently housed in multiple facilities and locations.

Greg Ossont, deputy director, Department of General Services is expected to attend and provide information.

Resolution to reduce taxicab fees for drivers, passenger vehicle license holders and fleet operations

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce resolutions to reduce and simplify certain fees that fleet operators, passenger vehicle license holders and drivers pay to the county to operate a taxicab. The purpose of the resolution is to renew interest in the taxicab industry as a profession, increase driver retention and eliminate substantial barriers to entry. Due to the pandemic and increased competition from transportation network companies such as Lyft and Uber, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation estimates that there are approximately 15 percent fewer drivers in the taxicab industry now than before the start of the pandemic.

Changes recommended by the County Executive for inclusion in the resolution include eliminating the $20 application fee for the taxi operator identification card (ID); reducing the two-year taxicab operator identification fee renewal from $150 to $100; eliminating the $20 test fee; reducing the individual application fee for a new passenger vehicle license (PVL) from $500 to $100; lowering the annual renewal fee of a PVL from $495 to $250; and implementing a flat $50 inspection fee

A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30, 2021.

Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program and Special Appropriation to the FY22 Capital Budget; Montgomery County Government; Department of Health and Human Services; Emergency Homeless Shelter for $2,455,000

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a $2.4 million amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program and Special Appropriation to the FY22 Capital Budget for the renovation of a new shelter located at 11600 Nebel Street shelter in North Bethesda. The funding is needed to accelerate completion of the project because the current shelter facility located on Taft Court in Rockville will no longer be available starting in Jan. 2022. In addition, due to COVID-19 the maximum occupancy at each County shelter has decreased to accommodate social distancing requirements. The new facility will provide space for congregation, meal service, medical services and case management.

A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m.

Resolution to Amend the FY22 Operating Budget for the Montgomery Government, Resolution 19-872, Section G, Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: Imagination Stage, Inc., Montgomery Recovery Services, Inc. d/b/a Clinic Web Services, and Reingold LINK, LLC, d/b/a LINK Strategic Partners

Introduction and vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on a resolution to amend the FY22 Operating Budget for the Montgomery County Government to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to add a contract with Imagination Stage for bilingual and culturally proficient mental health focused recreational services, add to the current contract with Montgomery Recovery Services to support Medication Assisted Treatment programs and add a contract with LINK Strategic Partners to provide strategic communications for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Plan.

Special appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Government, Office of the County Executive – Online Sales and Telework Grant Program, $869,733 and an amendment to FY22 Resolution 19-872, Section G, FY22 Designation of Entities for Non-competitive Award Status– Conference and Visitor’s Bureau

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce an $869,733 Special Appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget and an amendment to FY22 Resolution 19-872, Section G, FY22 Designation of Entities for Non-competitive Award Status – Conference and Visitors Bureau to implement a State grant that supports businesses recovering from the pandemic.

Approximately ten percent of the funds will be provided to Visit Montgomery to market and conduct business outreach for the grant program and create, launch and manage a new business directory called Discover MoCo on Visit Montgomery’s website. The remainder of the funds will be used for direct grants to eligible businesses.

A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for Nov. 16, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) H-142, filed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is a comprehensive rezoning application to implement the zoning recommendations contained in the Approved and Adopted Shady Grove Minor Master Plan Amendment

Public hearing: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on Sectional Map Amendment (SMA) H-142. The SMA was filed on August 11, 2021 by the Montgomery County Planning Board to implement the specific zoning recommendations of the Shady Grove Minor Master Plan Amendment. The SMA application covers a plan area of approximately 2,000 acres defined by several major roads, including Frederick Road (MD 355), the Intercounty Connector (MD 200), Shady Grove Road and Redland Road. The District Council approved the Shady Grove Minor Master Plan Amendment on April 6, 2021.

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-07, Density and Height Allocation – Development with Moderately Priced Dwelling Units

Public hearing: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-07, Density and Height Allocation - Development with Moderately Priced Dwelling Units. ZTA 21-07 would exempt applications with 100 percent moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) from mapped floor area ratio (FAR) limits. Council President Hucker and Councilmember Riemer are lead sponsors of the ZTA. Councilmember Rice is a cosponsor.

Bill 36-21, Motor Vehicles and Traffic – E-Scooters – Operation Requirements and Registration

Public hearing: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on Bill 36-21, Motor Vehicles and Traffic – E-Scooters – Operation Requirements, which would permit County residents to register an electric low speed scooter for personal use. The bill would also require the owner of two or more e-scooters to register and pay a fee for an e-scooter fleet offered for rent in the County. In addition, the bill would also establish operating and parking requirements for e-scooter use in the County.

Bill 36-21 is similar to Bill 8-20, Bicycles and E-Scooters – Operating Requirements and Registration, which was introduced on March 3, 2020, and recommended for approval with amendment by the joint Public Safety (PS) and Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee on June 25, 2020. However, Bill 8-20 was never considered by the full Council before expiring due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Bill 36-21 includes the amendments approved by the joint PS and T&E Committee last June.

Councilmember Katz is the lead sponsor of the bill. Council Vice President Albornoz is a cosponsor.

Bill 37-21, Animal Control – Animal Services Advisory Committee - Established

Public hearing: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on Bill 37-21, Animal Control – Animal Services Advisory Committee – Established, which would establish a new County Animal Services Advisory Committee to improve operations of the County Office of Animal Services (OAS).

The proposed committee would have 11 voting members representing different stakeholders and three non-voting ex officio members from OAS. All Committee members would be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. The committee would work with OAS to advise the Executive and the Council on issues related to animal care and welfare, rescue, fostering and adoption, population control, disease and bite prevention, public education about wildlife, best practices and volunteer recruitment for the County animal shelter and the operation of OAS.

The lead sponsor of the bill is Council Vice President Albornoz. Council President Hucker and Councilmembers Katz, Navarro, Jawando, Glass, Rice and Riemer are cosponsors.

Bill 38-21, Economic Development Fund - Local Business Child Care Grant Program - Established

Public hearing: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on Bill 38-21, Economic Development Fund – Local Business Child Care Grant Program – Established, which would require the Director of the Department of Finance to create and administer a Local Business Child Care Grant Program within the County’s Economic Development Fund. The purpose of the bill is to support businesses’ efforts to subsidize childcare for their employees.

If approved, the new Child Care Grant Program created by the bill would allow local for-profit or non-profit businesses with 50 or fewer employees to apply for a grant from the County to match up to 50 percent of the employer’s contributions to its employees’ Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for eligible childcare and dependent care. The match would be available only for employer contributions to FSAs for employees earning gross incomes of less than $125,000.

The lead sponsors are Council Vice President Albornoz and Councilmember Navarro. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

Bill 39-21, Taxation – Public Safety Officers – Public Safety Emergency Communications Specialists – Property Tax Credit

Public hearing: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing on Bill 39-21, Taxation – Public Safety Officers – Public Safety Emergency Communications Specialists – Property Tax Credit, which would provide a property tax credit for public safety officers and public safety emergency communications specialists employed by the County.

The purpose of the bill is to increase the number of County employees occupying public safety positions who reside in the County and help recruit and retain public safety employees. If approved, Bill 39-21 would establish a maximum $2,500 County property tax credit for full-time sworn police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and public safety emergency communications specialists employed by the County.

The lead sponsors are Council President Hucker and Council Vice President Albornoz. Councilmembers Navarro, Katz, Friedson, Jawando, Glass and Rice are cosponsors.

Briefing and receipt of the Montgomery County Redistricting Commission Report

Briefing: The Council will receive a briefing from the Commission on Redistricting about their recommended redistricting map that creates seven new Council districts. The commission is responsible for presenting a redistricting plan for Council districts and a report explaining their recommendations to the Council. The eleven-member volunteer commission includes registered Democrats, Republicans, independents and those who are unaffiliated.

The Council created the Commission on Redistricting in Feb. 2021, and the group conducted 12 meetings before completing its work ahead of the Nov. 15, 2021 deadline. Residents can view the commission’s proposed map here. The commission’s report to the Council can be viewed here. There are federal, state and county laws governing the approval of voting districts, and these legal requirements are included in the commission’s report.

The Montgomery County Charter, as amended by the voters in the 2020 general election, states that the County shall be divided into seven Council districts. Each district must be compact in form and composed of adjoining, contiguous territory. Moreover, the populations of each district must be substantially equal.

Before 2020, the Charter required the County to be divided into five Council districts. The new requirement for seven districts applies to the 2022 elections, and the Council will consist of eleven members in total in Dec. 2022. Seven district Councilmembers will be selected by registered voters who live in each district and four at-large members will be selected by all voters across the County.

Those expected to attend and provide information from the Redistricting Commission include Commission Chair Mariana Cordier, Vice Chair Arthur Edmunds, and Commissioners Imad Aldean Ahmad, Laura Ard, Keshia Desir, Valerie Ervin, Bruce Goldensohn, Jason Makstein, Nilmini Rubin, Samuel Statland and David Stein.

Bill 41-21, Elections – Council Districts – Boundaries

Introduction: The Council will introduce Bill 41-21, Elections Council Districts - Boundaries, which is the enabling legislation that would revise the boundaries of the Council districts as recommended by the map proposed by the commission.

The Council's public hearings on the proposed redistricting map and Bill 41-21 will be held on Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. The lead sponsor is Council President Hucker at the request of Redistricting Commission.

Resolution to approve use of Advance Land Acquisition Revolving Fund (ALARF) for acquisition of real property from Imperial Investment Company to create a South Silver Spring Urban Recreational Park

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on a resolution to approve use of the Advance Land Acquisition Revolving Fund (ALARF) for acquisition of real property from Imperial Investment Company for $7.5 million to create a South Silver Spring Urban Recreational Park. The 0.957 acres property fronts on East-West Highway and Kennett Street on opposite sides, providing the public access and visibility necessary for an urban park. This acquisition will provide recreational amenities to a diverse, underserved and growing urban community.

On September 30, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved the Montgomery Parks

Department proposal to acquire the property at 1110 East-West Highway in downtown Silver Spring. The parcel was specifically designated as a proposed urban recreational park in the Energized Public Spaces Functional Master Plan adopted by the Council in 2018. The proposed park is supported by the Equity Focus Area (EFA) analysis recently completed by the Parks and Planning Department.

Great Seneca Science Corridor (GSSC) Minor Master Plan Amendment

Review: The Council is expected to review the Great Seneca Science Corridor Minor Master Plan Amendment. The plan amendment was approved by the Planning Board on July 1, 2021 and will amend the approved and adopted 2010 Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan. This amendment is not a traditional master plan amendment, as it does not provide recommendations for land use, zoning, transportation, parks, trails, open space, community facilities or the environment.

The amendment evaluates the 2010 plan, considers progress towards the plan’s vision, illustrates departures from and barriers to implementing the original vision and provides a recommendation for adjustments to the plan’s staging requirements.

For more information, the Planning Board draft can be viewed here.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Casey Anderson, chair, Planning Board; Gwen Wright, director, Planning Department; Robert Kronenberg, deputy director, Planning Department; Carrie Sanders, Chief, Midcounty Planning Division, Planning Department; Jessica McVary, master plan supervisor, Midcounty Planning Division; and Maren Hill, planner coordinator, Midcounty Planning Division.

ZTA 21-05, Rural Village Center (RVC) Overlay Zone – Vehicle Repair

Vote expected: The Council will vote on ZTA 21-05, which would allow vehicle repair and service in the Rural Village Center (RVC) Overlay Zone. Under the current Zoning Ordinance, minor repair is a prohibited use in the RVC Overlay Zone. The lead sponsor of this ZTA is Councilmember Glass.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Casey Anderson, chair, Montgomery County Planning Board; Jason Sartori, chief, Countywide Planning and Policy, Planning Department; Benjamin Berbert, planner coordinator, Countywide Planning and Policy, Planning Department; Victor Salazar, division chief, Zoning, Well & Septic and Code Compliance, Department of Permitting Services (DPS); and Mark Beall, zoning manager, Division of Zoning, Well & Septic and Code Compliance, DPS.

Bill 42-21, Child Care – Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity - Established

Introduction: Council Vice President Albornoz and Councilmembers Navarro and Rice will introduce Bill 42-21, Child Care – Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity – Established, which would designate a nonprofit corporation focused on access, equity and inclusion in early care and education programs while helping the sector recover from challenges caused by the pandemic. The County’s early care and education coordinating entity will also improve the availability of affordable quality early care and education in the County. High quality and affordable early child care and education is an essential service for the well-being and future of children and families, as well as employers.

Councilmember Riemer, Council President Hucker, and Councilmembers Katz, Glass, Jawando and Friedson are cosponsors. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

Bill 43-21, Health – Advisory Board for Montgomery Cares Program – Amendments

Introduction: The Council’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee is expected to introduce Bill 43-21, Health – Advisory Board for Montgomery Cares Program – Amendments, which would extend the law establishing the Montgomery Cares Program Advisory Board by removing the sunset provision. The bill would also modify the Board’s mission to include underinsured County residents, define low-income, modify the composition of the Board’s members and require the Board to elect a vice chair.

The advisory board for the Montgomery Cares Program recommends policies to ensure access to high quality, efficient health care and related services for low-income and uninsured County residents. The law establishing the Board is set to sunset on December 31, 2021.

Bill 18-21, Police – Internal Affairs Procedures and Reporting Requirements

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on Bill 18-21, Police - Internal Affairs - Procedures and Reporting Requirements. Introduced by lead sponsor Council President Hucker, the purpose of the bill is to improve police accountability through the random review of body-worn camera footage and through the prompt reporting of serious Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigations. Councilmembers Jawando, Riemer, Glass, Navarro, Rice and Vice President Albornoz are cosponsors of the legislation. The Public Safety Committee recommends the enactment of Bill 18-21 with amendments.

As introduced, the bill requires the Montgomery County Police Department to issue a body-worn camera for the use of an on-duty employee of the department whenever the officer is wearing a uniform or prominently displaying a badge or insignia.

The bill also requires internal random reviews of body-worn camera recordings to evaluate officer performance and compliance with police rules. In addition, the bill provides that certain types of potential administrative misconduct discovered on body-camera recordings be investigated by the IAD.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Marcus Jones, chief, Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), Darren Francke, assistant chief MCPD; Willie Parker-Loan, assistant chief, MCPD; and Haley Roberts, assistant county attorney.

The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

The Council and committees are meeting via Zoom this fall because of ongoing construction and technology upgrades in the Council's Hearing Room and the inability to conduct meetings in a socially distant way in other areas of the Council Office Building with television broadcast capacity. Councilmembers will continue to hold meetings in their offices by appointment.

The virtual Council and committee meetings will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 21-449
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884