Plan­ning Com­mis­sion fi­nal­izes new rules

Pro­ce­dures, rules set ahead of new lead­er­ship

Maryland Independent - - News - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­news.com Twit­ter- @SykesIndyNews

After months of re­view and dis­cus­sion, the Charles County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion has fi­nal- ly set its new rules and pro­ce­dures — changes that come just ahead of cur­rent com­mis­sioner An­gela Sher­ard’s start as chair­woman.

In the new rules and pro­ce­dures, ac­cord­ing to Yolanda Hip­ski, a pro­gram man­ager for the county’s plan­ning divi­sion, there are new stan­dards for pub­lic com- ment and avail­abil­ity as well as the abil­ity to ad­just agen­das for the com- mis­sion­ers.

Hip­ski and county staff, along with Plan­ning Com­mis­sioner Nancy Schertler and Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Vice Chair- woman Joan Jones, ham- mered the rules down to their cur­rent shape. The only last-minute change made was that the stan- dard for re­vi­sion or modi- fi­ca­tion re­quests that can be made by the pub­lic was dwin­dled down to 20 days rather than 30.

The lim­its were switched be­cause of a few short­ened months out of the year, Hip­ski said. The goal for mod­i­fi­ca­tions and re­vi­sions after any plan­ning com- mis­sion rul­ing were to have it set­tled no later than two meet­ings after the re­quest is made.

“[Thirty days] would be three meet­ings away from the orig­i­nal vote,” Schertler said. “A re­con- sider­a­tion would have to hap­pen after the se­cond meet­ing in­stead of the third.”

In the new rules and pro­ce­dures, Hip­ski said, there are now ways to for­mally change an agenda. The agenda will be crafted by the plan­ning direc­tor and the chair, she said, and then will be voted on in pub­lic by the com­mis­sion­ers. Any changes must be voted on by com­mis­sion­ers as well.

Com­mis­sion Chair­man Buddy Bowling said the rules and pro­ce­dures should be re­viewed an­nu­ally, just to make sure there are no mis­takes and to con­sis­tently re­visit any rules to po­ten­tially make them bet­ter.

Schertler made the mo­tion to ap­prove the rules and rec­om­men­da­tions ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately. The mo­tion was unan­i­mously ap­proved by all seven com­mis­sion­ers.

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