Montgomery County Council Press Releases & Statements

County Council Staff Report Concludes Clarksburg ‘Development Districts’ Are Legal
 
  • Release ID: 07-089
  • Release Date: 9/11/2007
  • Contact: Neil H. Greenberger 240-777-7939 or Jean Arthur240-777-7934
  • From: Council Office

County Council Staff Report Concludes Clarksburg ‘Development Districts’ Are Legal

Report in Response to CTCAC Assertions Says County Acted Legally in Implementing Law That Requires Residents, Commercial Property Owners To Pay For Needed Infrastructure


ROCKVILLE, Sept. 11, 2007—A Montgomery County Council staff report has concluded that the County acted legally in creating “development districts” through which residents and commercial property owners in the new upcounty community of Clarksburg would pay special taxes to help fund critical infrastructure items.
The 95-page report, plus 13 fact-finding appendices totaling 145 pages, responds to a Clarksburg Town Center Advisory Committee (CTCAC) report released in the spring. That report asserted that the Clarksburg Town Center Development District was illegal and that the developers of the Clarksburg Town Center should pay for all needed infrastructure.

Immediately after receiving the CTCAC report, Council President Marilyn Praisner directed staff from the Council Office and the Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) to analyze the legal issues raised in the report.

In July, the County Attorney’s office issued an opinion concluding that the Council legally created the Clarksburg Town Center Development District.

The Council staff report released today is entitled “Implementation of the Development District Act / An Analysis of Issues Raised by the Clarksburg Town Center Advisory Committee.” The report was written by Kathleen Boucher, senior legislative attorney for the County Council. Sue Richards, senior legislative analyst for OLO, prepared the fact-finding appendices.

In 1994, the County enacted the Development District Act to establish procedures to create development districts. The purpose of development districts is to allow for the development of new communities while also assuring the availability of adequate public facilities. Development districts place the cost of building certain infrastructure for a new community on the residents and commercial property owners in that community—those that benefit from the infrastructure—rather than have all County taxpayers bear that burden.

The report issued today analyzes seven legal issues raised in the CTCAC report. The report has nine chapters. Chapter 8 directly addresses the legal issues raised in the CTCAC report. In each instance, the report concludes that the County acted legally.

“The Council appreciates the hard work that went into this report,” said Council President Praisner. “After this initial briefing, the Council will carefully review the report and determine what steps we need to take.”

The Council’s Management and Fiscal Policy Committee, which is chaired by Duchy Trachtenberg and includes Councilmembers Praisner and Roger Berliner, is tentatively scheduled to review the issues in the report on Sept. 25.

The complete report and a companion volume of relevant documents are available on the Council Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council. An executive summary of the report also is available.

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