There has been some concerns and discussion by people wishing to build High School #13 in Troy Park regarding Howard County’s statements that 80 of the 101 at Troy Park in Elkridge are encumbered because they were purchased with State Program Open Space funds. If so then the HCPSS cannot build the high school on those parcels unless the open space land is replaced. However, the County and the HCPSS seem to have no documents to show that Program Open Space funds were used.
I filled Public Information Act requests with the Maryland Board of Public Works and the Department of Natural Resources. An initial review does seem to show that Program Open Space funds were in fact used; generally the County was reimbursed which is one reason why the recorded deeds do not reflect the open space restrictions.
The documents can be found here:
So after the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Republicans and the NRA will probably once again say it is too soon to talk about gun safety measures. OK, for the sake of argument, it is too soon. The victims have to be mourned. The community has to grieve. But now after more than five years since the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, is it time yet that we can talk about what to do about that incident?
Howard County has been undergoing unmitigated growth for many years. This unmitigated growth has resulted in school overcrowding.
This overcrowding has occurred to the extent that some schools are close to 140% over-capacity.
For 30 years, the school system has dealt with overcrowding by adding portable trailers for classrooms. Currently, there are 224 portable classrooms.
The County manages growth through the adequate public facilities ordinance (APFO). The school overcrowding occurred because the school-capacity standards do not prevent overcrowding.
The County Council has introduced legislation that will help the County manage growth better by making the capacity standards stronger.
While the school capacity standards are weak, the County also charges very low school-surcharge fees that help defray the cost of new school construction.
The new Hanover Hills Elementary School cost $57,000 PER STUDENT to build.
According to the County’s own reports, developers pay an average value of $5,138 PER UNIT to build a new home.
The fees are not market-based. Neighboring counties charge five to six-times the fees charged by Howard County with stronger school capacity standards.
In order for the County to raise these fees, it needs to obtain State-enabling legislation to pass in Annapolis.
This bill is introduced by the Howard County State Delegation. The bill as introduced does not allow the County to charge market-based surcharge fees. It also allows overcrowding in schools provided developers pay a fee.
This is wrong.
Let your State Delegation know that you want the County to stop subsidizing developer profits. Further, this bill introduced by the Howard County State Delegation needs to be changed to enable the county to charge developers market rates so every additional child has a permanent seat rather than allow overcrowding for a fee.
Pass the State-enabling bill that will allow the County to charge market-based rates and prevent overcrowding.
Why would these properties along Route 100 and Old Montgomery Road not work for high school #13?
And if it is not good for a high school, how about for the new courthouse?
Houston, we have a problem.