This article finds us at the end of the 2018 Maryland Legislative Session. As a Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA) Legislative Committee Member, I am happy to report a successful Maryland Legislative Session for the building industry. The MBIA Legislative Committee reviewed 357 bills, and took a position on 307 of these bills. MBIA submitted testimony for 149 hearings, and 638 emails were sent to Legislators through “Action Alerts”. Due to the efforts made by the MBIA, the following priority bills were defeated:
1. SB610/HB766 – The Forest Conservation Act Amendment. This bill would have established a Task Force to study issues relating to forested land modifications, and the overall effectiveness of the State’s Forest Conservation Act.
2. HB 458 – Critical Areas. This bill would have required a homeowner of a home located in Maryland and in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Areas to upgrade the on-site sewage disposal system and to use nitrogen removal technology before selling or transferring such home.
3. HB 1086 – Drainage Defects. This bill would have required a new home builder to correct drainage defects within thirty (30) days after receiving a notification in writing with regard to such defect. It also expanded the definition of “actual loss” under the Home Builder Guaranty Fund, and authorized a homeowner to pursue a claim for compensation from such fund.
4. HB 1390 – Development Rights. This bill would have required a DRRA or Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreement to include a description of an “enhanced public benefit”, which would have been defined as an improvement that benefits the public and exceeds the improvements a person would be required to provide under local planning, zoning, and environmental laws.
I would like to thank Lori Graf, with MBIA, and all of the Frederick County Building Industry Association Members that assisted MBIA during the Maryland Legislative Session for their hard work and determination.
As the Maryland Legislation Session winds down, the Land Use Council continues to monitor and work with the community, local officials and staff on a variety of issues that impact the local building industry. Livable Frederick, Frederick County’s new Comprehensive Plan, is in draft form and has been on the top of our list of items which we are currently monitoring. We have been and will be attending meetings and hearings with regard to Livable Frederick. Livable Frederick will not only directly impact the building industry, it will impact Frederick County’s general business community. If you would like more information regarding Livable Frederick, please feel free to contact me or Denise Jacoby directly, or go to: www.livablefrederick.org. In addition, I would like to thank each and every Frederick County Building Industry Association Member that has contributed and participated in various meetings and hearings for all County issues.