Have you been notified or heard about a Pre-Submission Meeting in Your Neighborhood? Wondering what this means?
In Howard County, when a developer or owner is proposing – among other things -- to submit new plans for a subdivision; or, intends to petition the County to establish a conditional use (a use on the property only permitted with County approval) or to change the zoning of a property parcel, that developer or owner must hold a community meeting to inform neighbors about the new proposal.
The developer or owner is required to provide three weeks of notice of the pre-submission meeting to all adjoining property owners. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the community an overview of the proposal and for the developer or owner to get feedback from the community regarding concerns. All attendees should sign in. The developer or owner must have minutes taken, and within 60 days of the meeting, copies of those minutes and written responses to any questions raised by attendees must be provided by the developer or owner to all attendees.
The developer or owner has one year following the pre-submission meeting to actually submit plans to the County Department of Planning and Zoning or another pre-submission meeting must be held.
The developer or owner is required only to hold the meeting; he or she is NOT required to take community concerns into consideration or amend plans accordingly, although this is the hope of the pre-submission meeting requirement.
If you have concerns about the implications of proposed development or change of a property in your neighborhood, the pre-submission meeting is an important time to consult a land use attorney to find out what options you may have to get involved in and/or object to the development process. Having a strong, vocal presence at a pre-submission meeting may be a crucial first step to build leverage with a developer or owner. An attorney can represent you at a meeting and/or provide you powerful tools to make a credible appearance, including knowledge of the development process; ideas for what to monitor and expect; and, tips to creating neighborhood coalitions. An attorney can also advise you on next steps following the pre-submission meeting: what you can do and need to be aware of to stay informed and involved as development plans proceed.