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By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com | April 14, 2011
Washington County officials are re-examining their philosophy on allowing developers to build homes in areas that have overcrowded schools. The issue centers around the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, which forbids such development but allows for mitigation agreements — typically payments made by the developer toward school construction — to allow projects to proceed. During a work session Tuesday morning, the Washington County Board of Commissioners agreed it needs to decide the purpose of that ordinance, which can be viewed either as a roadblock to growth in areas with crowded schools or as a tool to help fund schools and make way for growth in those areas.
NEWS
by GREGORY T. SIMMONS | June 30, 2005
gregs@herald-mail.com Members of the Hagerstown Planning Commission on Wednesday expressed concerns with the proposed county excise tax and related adequate public facilities ordinance (APFO) that could go into effect as early as July 12. Their comments will be forwarded to the Hagerstown City Council, which is scheduled to take action on the measures in late July. The county's building excise tax would collect between $13,000 and $31,000 on each new home, depending on the type of home and how many are being built at one time in a development.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | November 26, 2003
tarar@herald-mail.com Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson on Tuesday said he wants residents who send their children to private schools to be exempt from a proposal that would charge developers per dwelling unit if they build in areas where elementary schools are at 85 percent capacity. County Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said in a phone interview later in the day that Munson's position is "not possible. It's not practical. It's not feasible.
NEWS
by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ | February 22, 2006
daniels@herald-mail.com Hagerstown City Council members said Tuesday they might support an ordinance designed to control the pace of development within the city's borders, moving beyond earlier concerns that doing so would relinquish too much of that decision-making power to Washington County officials. The county has asked municipalities to adopt Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances similar to one the county adopted in 1990 and has made amendments to as recently as this past summer.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | July 13, 2005
The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to delay for two weeks a vote on changes to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO). The proposed changes deal with the definition of a minor subdivision, school capacity designations and other amendments. The county's APFO helps ensure that roads, schools and other government services are adequate to handle growth.
NEWS
by GREGORY T. SIMMONS | July 13, 2005
HAGERSTOWN gregs@herald-mail.com Hagerstown City Council members on Tuesday disagreed with some wishes of the Washington County Board of Education, saying they will push for wording on a new law that will aid some downtown redevelopment as well as not create financial difficulties for developers or homeowners. At its Tuesday work session, the City Council took up a discussion on the city's proposed Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), which would in part link the ability to build new homes to the amount of available space in local schools for new students.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | July 16, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com A proposal by a Washington County Commissioner calls for halting development in areas where schools are designated as having "failing" capacities, saying any more enrollment growth might negatively affect the education of students who attend those facilities. The proposal by County Commissioner James F. Kercheval is part of several changes he recommended to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO). He presented the recommendations to the commissioners on Tuesday.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | October 13, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com A public hearing on proposed changes to a Washington County ordinance dealing with growth regulations drew opposition about a related matter - the county's $13,000-per-unit building excise tax. "I was appalled to find out it was going to cost me $13,000 before I could stick a shovel in the ground," said Harlan Barnes, who lives outside of Hagerstown. He called the tax "too much of a burden for anyone to build a house. " Barnes was one of eight people who spoke Wednesday night at a public hearing held by the Washington County Commissioners.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | April 26, 2006
An ordinance that allows Hagerstown to receive a portion of Washington County's building excise tax revenue was passed Tuesday and will take effect next month. The Hagerstown City Council unanimously passed the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The ordinance says the city's planning commission shall not approve new development that doesn't have adequate public facilities to serve it - "unless the developer reaches an agreement with the Mayor and Council .... " In particular, public schools either must be sufficient to accommodate more students at the time of the residential development or through planned construction projects or redistricting.
NEWS
by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ | March 23, 2006
The Washington County Attorney's office has dismissed wording that county and Hagerstown city officials each said marked their ability to trust each other. City Planning Director Kathleen A. Maher told the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday that County Attorney Richard Douglas believed the wording was "contract wording," and that it was not appropriate to include it in governmental legislation. City Attorney William P. Nairn said he agrees with the argument, and he suggested alternate wording that he felt captured the same sentiment but would have more legal standing.
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NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | August 6, 2013
After hearing several speakers express concerns during a public hearing Tuesday, the Washington County Board of Commissioners delayed action on a proposal to establish a formula for school-mitigation contributions levied on developers. Speakers said adding such a calculation to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, or APFO, is a positive step, but three of the five urged the board to make sure the formula is “fair and equitable.” “I think the formula approach is good because it's predictable.
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NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | July 31, 2013
A public hearing scheduled for next week will give residents a chance to weigh in on proposed changes to a Washington County ordinance that mandates how school-mitigation costs will be levied on developers. The proposal to amend the county Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, or APFO, will be presented Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m. in the county administrative building at 100 W. Washington St. The proposed changes include creating a formula to determine monetary contributions when schools exceed student capacity thresholds currently specified in the ordinance, but do not exceed 120 percent of the state-rated capacity, according to a county news release.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | July 16, 2013
A proposal to add an alternative school-mitigation contribution to the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance moved forward Tuesday, after the Washington County Board of Commissioners came to an informal consensus on draft revisions. The adequate facilities ordinance amendment will establish a standardized formula to determine monetary contributions from developers when additional students are expected to be generated by new development, causing public schools to exceed capacity thresholds, according to Stephen T. Goodrich, director of the county Department of Planning and Zoning.
NEWS
July 7, 2013
WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS County Administration Building, Room 226 100 W. Washington St., Hagerstown Tuesday, July 9, 9 a.m. Agenda • 9:05 a.m.: Commissioners' reports and comments • 9:20 a.m.: Easement acquisition or supporting slope - 19975 Marble Quarry Road, Keedysville • 9:30 a.m.: Real property acquisition - 4310 Locust Grove Road • 9:40 a.m.: Other business     (1) County attorney issues     (2) Appointments to County Boards and Commissions     (3)
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 25, 2013
The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a school mitigation proposal with a local developer, despite a protest by opponents who turned out with signs asking the commissioners to deny the proposal in accordance with the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The commissioners voted 3-1 to allow The Reserve at Collegiate Acres, a planned 272-unit multifamily development in northwest Hagerstown, to move forward at a cost of $2,000 per unit, or $544,000 total, to be paid for schools that will be directly impacted by projected growth from the new apartments.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | June 11, 2013
A discussion Tuesday about the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance served to illustrate why the Washington County Board of Commissioners is considering a new formula on how new residential developments should help pay for schools. Attorney Jason Divelbiss presented a plan to the board for The Reserve at Collegiate Acres, a 272-unit apartment complex. The plan offered no money for school mitigation, instead proposing a phase-in development over a period of years that would roughly coincide with the construction and opening of a planned West Side Elementary School.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | May 28, 2013
The cost to developers for mitigating the impact of residential projects on schools is a negotiated process, but it would be replaced with a standard formula under a plan outlined Tuesday for the Washington County Board of Commissioners by Planning and Zoning Director Stephen T. Goodrich. Currently, under the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, or APFO, a developer with seven or more residential lots would pay a mitigation fee if the schools in its region were above certain thresholds for state-rated capacity, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.
NEWS
By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com | April 9, 2013
The city of Hagerstown will keep its Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance for schools, which prevents the approval of new development in areas where schools are over capacity, the Hagerstown City Council decided Tuesday in a discussion propelled by the county's vote to cut the excise tax last month. The discussion to keep or repeal the city's APFO follows the Washington County Commissioners' March 26 vote that lowered the cost of new construction by cutting the excise tax on residential construction from $3 per square foot of habitable gross square footage to $1 per square foot, and on new residential retail construction from $3 per square foot to $1 per square foot on the first 15,000 square feet, and $3 per square foot thereafter.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com | April 14, 2011
Washington County officials are re-examining their philosophy on allowing developers to build homes in areas that have overcrowded schools. The issue centers around the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, which forbids such development but allows for mitigation agreements — typically payments made by the developer toward school construction — to allow projects to proceed. During a work session Tuesday morning, the Washington County Board of Commissioners agreed it needs to decide the purpose of that ordinance, which can be viewed either as a roadblock to growth in areas with crowded schools or as a tool to help fund schools and make way for growth in those areas.
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