Charles County Commissioner’s Meeting Update March 15

charles county commissioners

LA PLATA, Md. – On Tuesday, March 15, Deborah Carpenter, Director of the Department of Planning and Growth Management, and Jim Campbell, Director of Planning presented the Board of County Commissioners with a presentation equity in the planning process of the Ministry of Development and Growth Management.

The ministry proposes to integrate equity into public engagement considerations using not only traditional engagement methods such as community meetings, public hearings, charettes and traditional publicity methods, but also intentional equity to include virtual, in-person and hybrid formats; training in the use of various formats; go directly to residents with flexible hours; provide amenities such as babysitting services and food; and provide translators. The department is currently integrating equity through sub-area plans, a comprehensive plan update and zoning rewrite, public hearings, public outreach, and other community issues.

Commissioners’ comments

Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3) requested that the county change the lights of the Charles County Courthouse to blue and gold to reflect solidarity with Ukraine and recognize the Ukrainian people and all Ukrainian residents or those with relatives of Ukrainian descent . The county commissioners approved this request.

Open information sessions

  • Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney provided a update on COVID-19 in Charles County. There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, residents can make their own vaccination appointments, and walk-in visits are accepted. For a list of county vaccination clinics and testing sites, visit the Department of Health website website. Home COVID testing and KN95 mask distributions are available at public libraries and other local organizations and places of worship.
    • Vice President of Auxiliary Services at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center Bill Grimes said there are currently no patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
    • Media Services Chief Jen Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which focus on the state’s priority to increase vaccination booster shots for those who are eligible.
    • Charles County Public Schools Director of Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the latest statistics and the schools’ COVID-19 screening program.
  • County Attorney Wes Adams provided a presentation and request for tabling of bill 2022-02 Code of Ethics. Updates to state ethics laws were passed by the General Assembly in 2021, which the county must reflect in local code to stay in compliance. County commissioners approved the bill and set a public hearing for Wednesday, May 18 at 6 p.m.
  • Planning Supervisor Cathy Thompson and Planner III Joel Binkley provided a presentation and requesting approval of changes to the access management plan at Rosewick Road. County Commissioners approved the requested amendment to the Charles County Road Ordinance, including relocating Access Point N and removing Parcel 376 from Access Point N and reassigning it to Access Point N. Access J on Rosewick Road, pending submission of a signed permanent access agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police.
  • The update on the bail program will be postponed to a later date, due to oral testimony from Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell for the bills.

Legislative update

Associate County II Attorney Danielle Mitchell provided a update on the 2022 Maryland General Assembly session. Several hearings were held on Tuesday, March 15, including House Bill 514/Senate Bill 388, only written testimony accepted; and Mitchell will provide oral testimony on Senate Bill 1416 and Bill 1423/Bill 965. A hearing was held on Friday, March 11 for Bill 1415.

County commissioners discussed Senate Bill 297especially regarding changing the radius of sports betting sites from 1.5 miles to one 10 mile radius. County commissioners asked Mitchell to amend and resubmit the original letter of objection to include a request that Charles County’s inclusion in the bill be deferred to summer study.

Other bills highlighted include Senate Bill 1428, Senate Bill 1010/Bill 486, Senate Bill 1433, and Senate Bill 685. County commissioners have requested additional information from the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism for Senate Bill 685.

Approval items

The Commissioners also approved:

Appointment

  • Appoints Craig Renner to the Planning Commission.
  • Appointment of Michelle Jones as the District 1 representative to the Board of Licensing Commissioners.

Next session of Commissioners: March 22, 2022

Citizens with special needs can contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or the TDD Relay Service: 800-735-2258.

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