The Priorities We Share.
   Legislation sponsored by Councilman Quirk
 

 

Zoning/Development Reform & Transparency
Councilman Quirk has been a primary sponsor or driving force behind nine (9) ground-breaking reform bills that have improved accountability and transparency, increased public access to information and input, and ensured that only responsible, quality projects see the light of day.
“Community Input Meetings” Bill 3-11 (January 2011) requires community input meetings to be held within three miles of a proposed development.
“Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Review” Resolution 29-11 (March 2011) requiring the Department of Planning to review TOD policies in this and other jurisdictions to see how Baltimore County can better implement TOD, thereby reducing vehicular traffic, improving walkability and making public transit more accessible and efficient. A report back to the Council is required by October 2012.
“Revoke Thistle Landing” Resolution 50-11 (May 2011) revoked the controversial Thistle Landing PUD introduced by Mr. Quirk’s predecessor despite obvious environmental, traffic and planning concerns. Councilman Quirk is the first and only councilmember to ever revoke a PUD.
“Preliminary Agency Reports & Community Input Required for PUDs” Bill 36-11 (June 2011) requires that community input meetings be held, and preliminary agency reports from the Department of Planning and the Department of Environmental Protection & Sustainability be made available to the Councilmembers prior to the introduction of a PUD. This game-changing bill came to be when the Council (except Quirk) decided to reintroduce Thistle Landing (see Resolution 50-11 above). Knowing that the bill had enough votes to pass without his support, Councilman Quirk added the amendment requiring preliminary agency reports and community input. Now, with proper preliminary input from the community and environmental and planning professionals, Councilmembers and their constituents can be assured that a PUD meets the highest standards, guarantees that the public will be heard and that the Councilmember will be fully accountable to the public.
“Web Disclosure” Bill 46-11 (August 2011) requires web disclosure of any new development regulations.
“Open Space & Commercial Revitalization as Community Benefit” Bill 64-11 (September 2011) establishes a donation of open space as an acceptable community benefit for PUDs. The bill also formalized as a policy benefit the location of PUDs within a commercial revitalization district and removed senior housing as a community benefit by itself. This means that a developer must meet additional criterion for the development of senior housing projects.
“PUD Applications Posted on County Website” Bill 4-12 (January 2012) requires all PUD applications to be posted on the County’s website.
“Neighborhood Commons” Bill 7-12 (February 2012) establishes an open space designation known as an overlay district for undeveloped parcels within the Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL)
“Zoning Hearings Posted on County Website” Bill 15-12 (March 2012) requires all zoning hearings to be posted on the County’s website.
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Fiscal Responsibility
"Every dollar misspent is a dollar less for our schools, our first responders and the other services we rely on for our quality of life." --Tom Quirk
 Chair, Spending Affordability Committee (SAC): Comprised of three Council members and two at- large members, SAC submits its spending recommendations to the County Council and County Executive by February 15 of each year.
Budget Years 2012 & 2013- Passed Executive budgets with no new property or income tax increases, maintenance of effort for school budget, and increased budget only for Technology department to increase county productivity.
 
 
 
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Economic Development & Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)
“The best way to protect the integrity of the PUD process is to not introduce bad PUDs.” –Tom Quirk, the only Councilmember to ever revoke a PUD, May 2011
 “Security Square” Bill 45-11 (August 2011) In order to aide the redevelopment of Security Square Mall this bill reduced the number of required parking spaces in certain commercial centers that are within 1,000 feet of a public transit stop.
"Commerical Revitalization as Community Benefit" Bill 64-11 (September 2011) defines locating a PUD within a commercial revitalization district as a community benefit.
 “Southwest Physician’s Pavilion” Resolution 108-11 (September 2011) provides for a $24 million construction project at Kenwood Avenue at the I-695 interchange of 85,000 square feet of leasable space with 4 floors of medical offices and 3 floors of structured parking.
·         The property was zoned for office for 27 years
·         Only required the PUD to accommodate 9 additional feet.
·         Will be the 1st Class A LEED Silver office building in the area.
·         Located in a T-5 Urban Center Zone and a Community Enhancement Area as designated by the Baltimore County Master Plan, and well within the County’s Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL).
·         In exchange for PUD designation, the developer will provide as community benefits:
1) upgraded traffic signals at the intersection of Wilkens and Kenwood Avenues
2) installation of upgraded public landscaping and storm water management
3) noise modulation from Beltway traffic
4) sidewalk extension from Kenwood Gardens condominiums to Wilkens Avenue allowing residents uninterrupted pedestrian access to the shops and public transportation at Wilkens Avenue
5) installation of handicap access ramps at Kenwood Gardens
6) installation of community sign at Kenwood Gardens
7) $50,000 donation to Catonsville Rails to Trails for the maintenance of a nearby recreation trail.
“Alberee Products, Lansdowne” Resolution 5-12 (February 2012) authorized Baltimore County to sell bonds in support of Alberee Products in Lansdowne, the only domestic manufacturer of windshield wiper blades.
“Greens at English Consul” Resolution 6-12 (February 2012) provides for the construction of 72 units of affordable senior housing on Oak Road in Baltimore Highlands with approximately $9 million in investment.
·         In exchange for PUD designation, the developer will provide as community benefits:
1) The availability of much needed affordable senior housing
2) A donation of training exercises and associated expenses to the English Consul Volunteer Fire Company
“YMCA/Brightview” Resolution 8-12 (February 2012) provides for the construction of independent and assisted senior living facility on land previously owned by the YMCA of Central Maryland with a total investment of $15-20 million.
·         The Brightview plan was accepted by Councilman Quirk and surrounding neighborhoods as an alternative to the much more traffic intensive medical building originally proposed by the YMCA.
·         The sale of Y property to Shelter Properties (DBA “Brightview”) will enable the Y to expand and improve its facilities to meet local needs and better serve the public.
·         In exchange for PUD designation, Brightview will make improvements to the road topography from the YMCA onto Rolling Road and due south to the intersection at Wilkens Avenue, enhancing traffic flow and visibility.
“Truck Garages in M.L. Zones” Bill 18-12 (March 2012) permitted truck service garages in M.L. zone by right under certain conditions, thereby allowing a truck service garage to open in the Hollins Ferry industrial area and service the trucks in those facilities.
Kaiser Permanente- Ongoing conversations with healthcare executives about the needs of the community, access to public transit and infrastructure to aide in the establishment of a full service medical facility in Lansdowne.
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Open Space, Trails & Environmental Protection
Councilman Quirk is a champion of open space and alternatives to vehicular traffic as integral to maintaining our quality of life, protecting our natural resources and maintaining our property values.
“Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee” Bill 2-11 (February 2011) established the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.
“Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Review” Resolution 29-11 (March 2011) requiring the Department of Planning to review TOD policies in this and other jurisdictions to see how Baltimore County can better implement TOD, thereby reducing vehicular traffic, improving walkability and making public transit more accessible and efficient. A report back to the Council is required by October 2012.
“Revoke Thistle Landing” Resolution 50-11 (May 2011) revoked the controversial Thistle Landing PUD introduced by Mr. Quirk’s predecessor despite obvious environmental, traffic and planning concerns. Councilman Quirk is the first and only councilmember to ever revoke a PUD.
“Open Space & Commercial Revitalization as Community Benefit” Bill 64-11 (September 2011) establishes a donation of open space as an acceptable community benefit for PUDs. The bill also formalized as a policy benefit the location of PUDs within a commercial revitalization district and removed senior housing as a community benefit by itself. This means that a developer must meet additional criterion for the development of senior housing projects.
 “Rails to Trails Short Line” Resolution 130-11 (December 2011) authorized the County to accept the Short Line Trail as a donation from Catonsville Rails to Trails (CRTT), meaning that the trail is public property and to be protected and made available as such. CRTT remains the steward for the trail.
“Maple Avenue” Resolution 1-12 (January 2012) authorized the County to accept an 11 acre Maple Avenue property as a donation from Baltimore City. The property will remain as an open space conservation area in perpetuity with NeighborSpace Baltimore County as its steward.
“Neighborhood Commons” Bill 7-12 (February 2012) establishes an open space designation known as an overlay district for undeveloped parcels within the Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL)
“High Performance Home Tax Credits” Bill 23-12 (April 2012) expands the eligibility of High Performance Home Tax Credits to residential units designated as Silver or greater by the National Green Building System (NGBS)
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Traffic Management & Pedestrian Safety
Councilman Quirk lives on a heavily trafficked road and is intimately aware of the challenges that vehicular traffic presents for his neighbors and constituents, many of whom live in the district for its family friendly culture and good schools.
“Speed Monitoring System” Bill 1-11 (January 2011)  increases availability of speed monitoring systems in school zones in direct response to the enormous number of speeding complaints.
“Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee” Bill 2-11 (January 2011) established the Baltimore County Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.
“Towing of Parked Vehicles” Bill 10-11 (February 2011) authorized County Police to tow parked vehicles impeding the flow of traffic such as cars blocking driveways.
Roads: Eleven (11) major street renovations.
Traffic calming: Eight (8) traffic calming measures installed or improved.
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Human Relations
“No one should ever be denied work, housing, or access to credit based on anything other than their qualifications.” – Tom Quirk
“Anti-Discrimination” Bill 3-12 (January 2012) expands the County’s anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
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Have an opinion you’d like to share on these or other issues? Councilman Quirk has an open-door policy. Call the Council office at 410.887.0896 to speak with a legislative aide or email the councilman directly at council1@baltimorecountymd.gov.
 

 

 

By Authority, Jeff Utzinger, Treasurer, Friends of Tom Quirk