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Executive Appointments Confirmed; Authorizes Small Cell/5G Regulations; County’s Animal Control Ordinance Updated; Enacts new Fair Housing Law; Enacts Several Zoning Bills
The Prince George’s County Council convened the final session for Legislative Year 2019, on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
Council Chair Todd M. Turner (D) – District 4, says Tuesday’s session concludes the first Legislative Year for the new, 11-member County Council, including two At-Large members.
“I want to commend my County Council colleagues as we concluded a very successful first year on November 19th. Working with County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks and her administration, we were able to pass legislation that improves the lives of and addresses issues raised by our County residents.”
Council Members began the daylong meeting with the approval of several County Executive nominees, including the appointment of Major F. Riddick, Jr. as the Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George’s County, Dr. Ernest Carter, MD, PhD, as the County’s Health Officer; and Estella Alexander as the County’s Housing and Community Development Director. The Council also approved the nominations of other appointments to serve various County commissions.
Among the bills enacted on Tuesday, and subject to County Executive Alsobrooks review and approval under the County Charter, are:
Community Inclusiveness Act
Tuesday’s Council action included unanimous adoption of CB-062-2019, enacting the Community Inclusiveness Act, which addresses immigration policy and policing in Prince George’s County. The Community Inclusiveness Act codifies the County’s administrative policy that prohibits County law enforcement agencies from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers in non-criminal interactions, and mandates that all County agencies not engage in immigration enforcement.
Updated Animal Control Ordinance
Following testimony from 21 residents, Council Members also voted unanimously to approve CB-046-2019, updating the County’s Animal Control Ordinance. New animal control laws in the County will increase fines and enforcement; address resident concerns around leash requirements; and improve handling of dangerous and negligent owners in the County. Council approval of CB-046-2019 maintains the current ban on the Pit Bull dog breed in Prince George’s County.
Small Cell Wireless Facilities Regulations
Tuesday’s Council adoption of CB-058-2019 and CB-059-2019, submitted by the County Executive and concerning small wireless facilities in the County, now moves Prince George’s County a step closer in the global race to 5G. The legislation creates the regulatory framework for the installation of small wireless facilities; lays the groundwork for the future deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology; and amends the County’s Zoning Ordinance to regulate the installation of such facilities on private property.
Updated Fair Housing Act
The Council approved CB-038-2019, a Fair Housing Act establishing Prince George’s County’s policy of ensuring equal opportunity and eliminating discrimination in all housing accommodations. This legislation amends the County’s existing law to prohibit discrimination in housing based on immigration status, citizenship status, and source of income.
Plastic Straw Ban
With the Council’s unanimous approval of CB-52-2019, Prince George’s County now joins neighboring Charles County, Takoma Park and the District of Columbia in banning the sale or distribution of single-use plastic straws and stirrers at all County restaurants and retail establishments. There is an exemption for people with disabilities to request plastic straws at restaurants.
Council Members enacted several zoning related bills, including changes to uses in Commercial Shopping Center (C-S-C) zones for mixed-use development (CB-45-2019); Open-Space (O-S) zones for limited grading (CB-60-2019); Residential Estates (R-E) zones for senior and disabled housing development (CB-57-2019); and allowing Aquaponics, a form of agriculture using water-based growing, as a use in golf courses in the County (CB-061-2019).
The Council also heard the testimony of 27 residents on CB-017-2019, before voting to approve the ordinance concerning the R-A (Residential/Agricultural) Zone permitting townhouse and single-family detached dwelling uses in the R-A Zones of Prince George’s County under certain circumstances. The approved zoning measure paves the way for the Development Review Process to begin for proposed new housing in the County, including the potential re-use of the Freeway Airport site in Bowie.
For the full agenda and details of the Council’s final session for Legislative Year 2019, visit the Council’s Legislative Information and Zoning System (LZIS).