Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Comp Lite Referendum Dead

Posted by David Keelan on Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rumor has it the referendum is dead. 

Update: It is dead

Some memorable quotes and past news on the referendum initiative and zoning in general. 

If you recall, as the Howard County Times reported last year, in addition to other land-use decisions, it contains a rezoning that allows Bethel Korean Presbyterian Church in Ellicott City to build an addition without having to seek community input, a decision that outraged the church’s neighbors and prompted the referendum.  Recently Councilman Ken Ulman proposed zoning reform.

Council member Kenneth Ulman:

First he said this….

“We make decisions all the time that people are unhappy with,” Ulman said. “It’s important to keep perspective on this. This was a church expansion. You would think from some people’s response we’d allowed a row of strip clubs along St. John’s Lane.”

Howard County Times, March 17, 2005

Then he said this….

“I think we’re all frustrated with comprehensive rezoning…It’s easy to criticize; it’s easy to blame, but we think we can make this work better.”

Howard County Times, June 15, 2006

He also said this….

“I think it’s a shame that there are many projects held up because (of the referendum drive) but we’ll have to see how it plays out,” said County Council member Kenneth Ulman, a Columbia Democrat who voted for the bill.

Howard County Times, June 16, 2005

And then he said this…

Ulman said he’s frustrated with the current comprehensive rezoning process, which is why he supports a change that would “notify every citizen,” in “a process to engage every citizen,” and also weave funding for capital projects like roads and schools into the new system.

Baltimore Sun, June 14, 2006

Then their is this article from the Howard County Times.  Landowners seek to scuttle ‘Comp Lite’ referendum.

What would Ken Ulman say if the law suit referenced in the article were to succeed, as I have been informed?  I am sure he would be disappointed that, if the referendum were to be removed from the November ballot, that the opportunity to “engage every citizen” was lost.

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6 Responses to “Comp Lite Referendum Dead”

  1. Harold said

    What happened? Did Ms. Beltram and COPE throw in the towel?

  2. Ed&Laura said

    this is a frigging crock! this stinks to high heaven. how can they just tell all those people who signed to shove it up thier butts? i did not sign because i never got a chance, but this makes me really mad. How many new houses will be shoved down our throats now. does this mean that all that new construction is now going to be shoved on us? What can people do about this? we know that some of the developers stuff in this thing was done with backroom deals! are we now just supposed to eat it? this makes me sick.

  3. EmpTee said

    It’s not “dead” yet. It could be revived. It is entirely dependent on whether or not the Board of Elections wants to pursue it. The Board of Elections wan’t a very eager participant in this battle to begin with. The petition met the Howard County standards- which state that the title of the Bill is a fair and accurate summary. (This summary is required on each and every signature page). A copy of the entire bill was available with each petitioner- and that fact was clearly stated at the top of the petition page. Basically this ruling indicates that the citizens of Howard County have no right to referendum for comprehensive rezoning- as there is no way to summarize a 91 page Bill with map amendments- on the back of an 8.5×11″ signature page. Moving to a legislative process for Comp zoning- away from a judicial process- was done specifically to grant the citizens the right of referendum. The likelihood of succeeding was always limited by the citizen’s ability to support and fund a legal defense. The voice of thousands was overwhelmed by the $ of a few greedy developers. SOP in Ho. Co.

  4. hocomd said

    I hope it isn’t dead, but I am not hopeful that the Board of Elections is going to fight this. As for Ulman’s comments and quotes… They are relevant and fair. He is contridicting himself. He is all over the map.

    Ulman blasted Lancos in 2002 for taking developer money. Since he has been elected he has been aggressively taking in a lot of development related money. Another blatent contridiction.

    I could have shown the same for Guzzone. Feaga is consistent, he is pro-development and makes no apologies for it either. Merdon is consistent too. He has long advocated a change in the process and supported the referendum – he sent out his volunteers to gather signatures for the petition. He voted against comp-lite.

  5. Mary Smith said

    I just heard that the board of elections will not pursue. Any confirmations?

  6. hocomd said

    That is what was in the paper today.

    I had been given indications from others closer to this than I am that supports felt that the Board of Elections was luke warm in their defense of the petition in court, and they felt as a result the Board of Elections would not fight this.

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