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Planning Board to review Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) recommendations

February 13, 2017

Media Contacts:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Carl DeLorenzo, Director of Policy and Programs, Office of the County Executive, 410-313-2172

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County’s Planning Board will discuss proposed recommendations to modify the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) this Thursday, February 16 at 7:15 p.m. in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive in Ellicott City. The meeting is open to the public and attendees can provide testimony about the proposed changes.

The Planning Board will consider a staff report completed by the County’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) evaluating the changes proposed by a task force appointed by Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. After 10 months of review, the 23-member task force presented a 24-page report to Kittleman with numerous recommended changes.

Kittleman supports recommendations in DPZ’s staff report and plans to file legislation to make the changes. He has asked the Planning Board to review them and to provide another opportunity for public engagement.

“We’re continuing to move ahead with this process,” Kittleman said. “It’s a complicated ordinance, so we want to make sure we get it right. We have gotten lots of input and have reviewed all recommended changes carefully. Ultimately, these changes will help the County make better decisions about growth and development.”

APFO, first adopted by the County Council in 1992, provides a growth management process that paces development to ensure adequate public roads, schools and other facilities are in place. It also allocates housing units according to the county’s General Plan growth objectives. Kittleman established the APFO Review Task Force through Executive Order because the ordinance hadn’t been closely examined in more than 10 years.

According to DPZ Director Valdis Lazdins, “This is a perfect opportunity to review APFO in light of changing conditions in the County and to modify those regulations that are no longer appropriate or that need fine-tuning.”

The APFO Review Task Force passed 18 motions by a two-thirds majority. Notable recommendations include:

  • Require a regular review of APFO
  • Exempt MIHUs from the allocations test
  • Alter allocation amounts
  • Eliminate option to share allocations
  • Alter school capacity levels and school facilities surcharge rates
  • Impose a developer wait-time limit
  • Rename Open/Closed chart for public schools

To review the DPZ staff report and related materials, go to