The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday, Feb. 5, is scheduled to take action on legislation that will establish a County hiring priority for people with disabilities, changes and clarifies regulations on establishing accessory apartments in homes and would require an assessment of the potential of adding affordable housing to future County capital building projects.
The Council’s regular weekly session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The regular meeting—and three public hearings scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.—will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will be available via streaming through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov It will be rebroadcast on Friday, Feb. 8, starting at 9 p.m.
During the morning session, the Council is expected to vote on Bill 32-12 that would require the County to adopt regulations permitting the noncompetitive appointment of qualified persons with severe developmental, physical or psychological disabilities to County merit positions. County voters in November overwhelmingly approved a referendum that would allow the hiring preference. Councilmember Phil Andrews and Council Vice President Craig Rice are the lead sponsors of the bill. All Councilmembers have expressed their support of the legislation.
The Council also is expected to take action on Bill 31-12 that will lead to simplifying and speeding the review of applications for homeowners to establish accessory apartments in their homes.
The bill requires the posting of a sign on the site of an accessory apartment application. The director of the Department of Housing and Community Development will determine the specifics of the sign.
Action is also scheduled on Bill 37-12 that would require the County’s Office of Management and Budget to submit an affordable housing assessment with certain capital projects proposed in the County Capital Improvements Program. The purpose of the assessment is to advise the Council whether each proposed project should include an affordable housing element.
It is estimated that approximately five projects per year will be assessed under the legislation, whose chief sponsors are Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Hans Riemer.
The Council is expected to approve a supplemental appropriation of $1.1 million for an artificial turf field that would replace the stadium playing surface at Wootton High School in Rockville. The artificial turf field will be paid for entirely from private funds, with the Wootton Booster Club providing $200,000 and the Bethesda Soccer Club contributing $900,000 in return for use of the field for 900 to 1,000 hours per year for a 10-year period.
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