Capital LTE: “Annapolis needs to replace its ineffective Adequate Facilities Ordinance”

Capital Gazette: Letters to the Editor, May 2, 2018

For far too long, city officials have willingly overlooked school overcrowding in favor of allowing more overdevelopment, which is why I was happy to hear the City Council is considering legislation to strengthen the law that restricts development when our schools can no longer accommodate new students.

In 2016, the city passed a useless Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance that restricts development only when elementary and middle schools reach 105 percent and when Annapolis High School reaches 120 percent. The county law has been at 100 percent for decades — why should the city law be any different?

As candidates last fall, Mayor Gavin Buckley and several aldermen — Elly Tierney, Fred Paone, Marc Rodriguez, Rob Savidge and Ross Arnett — recognized that the law needed to be strengthened and signed pledges to make this a priority if they were elected.

But the legislation proposed, Ordinance O-8-18, does not match what was pledged. I support two amendments to bring the ordinance in line with their commitment. The first would set the capacity threshold at 100 percent. The second would make it applicable to developments of four or more units.

As proposed, O-8-18 is weaker than the county law because it applies only to developments of 11 or more units. These amendments would simply parallel a county law adopted more than 30 years ago.

I urge all Annapolis residents to show their support for this important legislation. If you did not make it last month’s public hearing, please send an email to Mayor Buckley and your alderman.


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