Washington County briefs

November 02, 2005|by TARA REILLY

Installment Payment Program is approved

A Washington County agricultural land preservation program no longer includes a provision that drew concern from the state.

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the Installment Payment Program without the provision.

The program allows the county to purchase permanent preservation easements, but pay for them over 10 years. The county also will pay interest.

The state, which prefers permanent easements, had expressed concern over a proposed provision in the program that would have given property owners the ability to buy back the development rights of the land after 25 years.

State and federal funding for agricultural land preservation "would likely be dramatically curtailed or eliminated" if the provision were included in the program, according to information provided by the county earlier this month.


Commissioners OK APFO amendments

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved amendments to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO).

The amendments include a change to the school capacity percentage used to determine school adequacy and references a proposed Board of Education mitigation policy to deal with overcapacity.

An elementary school will be considered adequate if it is less than 90 percent of the state-rated capacity, a change from 85 percent, according to the APFO.

The state-rated capacity is school capacity that is determined by the state.

The school system's proposed mitigation policy would force developers to help resolve existing and projected problems of overcrowding before they could move forward with their building plans.

The APFO, adopted in 1990 and amended several times since then, contains growth regulations intended to help ensure schools, roads and other public services and facilities are adequate to handle growth.

County, school board discuss progress

The Washington County Commissioners and the Board of Education met Tuesday morning to discuss the progress of the school system over the last five years and a proposed policy on developer contributions to school construction projects.

School officials presented to the County Commissioners the State of Education report that was given Oct. 12 to the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

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