AGENDA ITEM 7C
February 7, 2017
Action
MEMORANDUM
February 3,2017
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
County Council
Amanda Mihill, Legislative Attorney
~
Action:
Bill 25-16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood
Action Team
Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee recommendation (3-0):
enact
Bill 25-16 with an amendment to remove the requirement to establish the Neighborhood Action
Team, and replace it with an amendment to require the Executive to submit quarterly reports
to the Council regarding blight and quality of life issues and require the Executive to hold
semiannual meetings with County residents to discuss blight and quality of life issues.
Expedited Bill 25-16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action
Team, sponsored by Lead Sponsors Councilmembers Leventhal and Navarro and Co-Sponsors
Councilmembers Berliner and EIrich, was introduced on June 21,2016. A public hearing was held
on July 12 and a Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee worksession was held
on August 1.
Bill 25-16 would require the Executive to create a Neighborhood Action Team and specify the
duties and membership of the Neighborhood Action Team. A memorandum from the Lead
Sponsors with additional background material is on ©5.
At the July 12 public hearing, the Council heard from 3 speakers supporting Bill 25-16 (©13-17).
The Council has also heard from residents questioning the effectiveness of the Neighborhood
Action Team as it was used in Connecticut Avenue Estates (©18-21).
Committee Discussion and Recommendation:
At the Committee worksession on August 1, the Committee discussed Executive branch concerns
with Bill 25-16. Executive staff noted that there can be sensitive issues surrounding discussions of
blight issues that may not be appropriate for discussion as part of the open meetings that could be
required under the formal creation of a Neighborhood Action Team. Committee members
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understood the concerns expressed, but felt that the benefit that would be provided in Bill 25-16
outweighed those concerns. Therefore, at its worksession, the Committee voted 2-0-1
(Councilmember Floreen abstaining) to enact Bill 25-16 with technical amendments.
Post-Worksession Developments
After the Committee worksession, the Executive'sent a memorandum (see ©29-31) updating the
Council on steps that the Executive committed to taking to respond to the issues Bill 25-16 was
designed to address. The Executive noted that he was creating a Neighborhood Action Team that
was set up substantially similar to the Team that would be required under Bill 25-16. In response,
Councilmembers Navarro and Leventhal sent a memorandum to the Executive (see ©32-33)
expressing appreciation for the Executive's efforts to establish the Neighborhood Action Team.
However Councilmembers Navarro and Leventhal continued to believe that legislation was
necessary to strengthen the reporting requirement for the activities that the Neighborhood Action
Team undertakes. Therefore, Councilmembers Navarro and Leventhal circulated an amendment
that would remove the requirement to establish the Neighborhood Action Team, and replace it
with an amendment to require the Executive to submit quarterly reports to the Council regarding
blight and quality oflife issues and require the Executive to hold semiannual meetings with County
residents to discuss blight and quality of life issues. This amendment was shared with Executive
staff, who were supportive of it.
Committee recommendation.
The amendment was circulated to all Committee members and all
Committee members supported it. Therefore, the bill currently pending before the Council
incorporates this amendment (see ©3, lines 30-37).
This packet contains:
Committee Bill 25-16
Legislative Request Report
Sponsor memorandum
Select written testimony/correspondence
Fiscal and Economic Impact statement
Executive memorandum
Navarro/Leventhal memorandum
Circle #
1
4
5
13
23
29
32
F:\LAw\BILLS\I625 Neighborhood Action Team\Action Memo.Docx
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Bill No.
25 -16
Concerning: Housing
and
Building
Maintenance
Standards
Neighborhood Action Team
Revised: 2/2/2017 Draft No. _=5_ _
Introduced:
June 21! 2016
Expires:
December 21! 2017
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: ---'-'-No:::<!n.!.:=e'--_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsors: Councilmember Leventhal and Navarro
Co-Sponsors: Councilmembers Berliner and EIrich
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
require the Executive to [[create a Neighborhood Action Team]] submit quarterly
reports to the Council regarding quality of life issues;
[[specify the duties and membership of the Neighborhood Action Team]] require the
Executive to hold semiannual meetings with County residents to discuss quality of
life issues; and
generally amend County laws related to housing and building maintenance
standards.
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 26, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards
Section 26-19
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No. 25-16
1
2
Sec.
1.
Section 26-19 is added as follows:
26-19. [[Neighborhood Action Team]] Outreach on Ouality
of Life Issues.
[[ill)
Creation.
The Executive must create
~
3
4
Neighborhood Action Team to
address visual blight and other quality of life issues in the County.
5
6
®
Membership.
ill
The Neighborhood Action Team must include representatives
from:
fA)
7
8
the Department of Transportation;
the Department of Housing and Community Affairs;
the Department of Permitting Services;
the Department of Environmental Protection;
the Police Department; and
any other representative the Regional Services Center
Director or the Executive finds necessary.
9
10
11
12
ill.)
(Q)
ill.)
tID
(E)
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
ill
By September
1
of each year, the Executive must submit the
names and position titles of the members of the Neighborhood
Action Team to the Council.
(fl
Duties.
The Neighborhood Action Team must convene at the request of
any Regional Services Center Director or other individual designated
by
the Executive. After convening, the Neighborhood Action Team must
create
other
~
20
21
22
plan with recommended actions to address visual blight and
of
life
Issues
ill
quality
any
affected
community.
23
24
25
26
Recommendations may include increasing enforcement of violations of
County laws related to housing maintenance standards, parking, and
solid waste disposal.
@
Report.
By December
.L.
2017 and each December
1
thereafter, the
~
27
Executive must submit
report to the Council that includes activities,
@
f:\law\bills\1625 neighborhood action team\bill5 committee.doc
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BILL
No. 25-16
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
accomplishments, plans, and objectives of the Neighborhood Action
Team.]]
The Executive must submit quarterly reports to the Council that includes
activities. plans. and objectives of Executive branch departments
to
address instances
in which an aggregation of problems has led to diminished quality of life for affected
residents in an affected community. Contents of the annual report can include
recommendations to increase enforcement of violations of County laws related to
housing maintenance standards. parking. and solid waste disposaL The Executive. or
the Executive's designee. must hold semiannual meetings with County residents to
discuss these problems.
Approved:
38
39
Roger Berliner, President, County Council
Date
40
Approved:
41
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
42
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
43
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
o
f:\law\bills\1625 neighborhood action team\bill5 committee.doc
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bi1125-16
Housing and Building Maintenance Standards
-
Neighborhood Action Team
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 25-16 would require the Executive to create a Neighborhood
Action Team and specify the duties and membership of the
Neighborhood Action Team.
There has been an informal team meeting regarding these issues, but
County residents would benefit from a team more formally
established.
To address blight and quality of life issues.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
Departments of Transportation, Housing and Community Affairs,
Permitting Services, and Environmental Protection; the Police
Department; Regional Services Centers
FISCAL IMPACT:
To be requested
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
To be requested
To be researched.
To be researched.
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
Amanda Mihill, Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7815
APPLICATION
To be researched.
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
NI
A
F:\LAw\BILLS\1625 Neighborhood Action Team\LRRDocx
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
TO:
Councilmembers
FROM:
George Leventhal,
Councilmember~
A
-"
.../1
/,~{/~:
If'
Nancy Navarro, Councilmember
DATE:
SUBJECT:
June 15,2016
Fl'/
Creating an interdepartmental Neighborhood Action Team to address blight and
quality of life issues in Montgomery County.
In
dual memoranda dated June 30,2014 and July 9,2014, we detailed important
steps the county could take to begin to address issues of blight in and around the
community of Connecticut Avenue Estates in Wheaton. Both memoranda called
for an increased effort in county agency coordination to address issues of targeted
code enforcement, overnight parking and illegal dumping enforcement and
penalties. We sought participation from the Department of Rousing and
Community Affairs (DRCA), the Department of Permitting Services (DPS), the
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Montgomery County Police
Department (MCPD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
While we are well aware that a working group, with members from these various
departments, has been meeting on an informal basis about these issues, we believe
it is vitally important that there be an accurate record of potential findings, new
public education initiatives, and best pra,ctices moving forward. We believe this
working group
will
be able to provide valuable community resources to residents,
not just
in
the neighborhood of Connecticut Avenue Estates, but county-wide.
Directors of each of the Regional Services Centers (RSC) would be able to call
upon the newly established Neighborhood Action Team to evaluate problem areas
in
communities and to quickly establish a workable, time limited plan to address
issues of blight that negatively affect.residents' quality of life..
STELLA B. WERNER COUNCIL OFFICE BUILDING·
100 MARYLAND AVENUE •
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
20850!C:\
240r777-7900
TTY 240[777-7914 •
FAX
240[777-7989
&.
. WWW.MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV
C
PRiNTED ON
REC,(~LEO
PA.PER
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To that end, we are soliciting your support for the attached legislation, which we
will
introduce on Tuesday, to create an official, permanent Neighborhood Action
Team. We believe this is'an important first step in providing residents
with
a
unified and uniformed response on
issu~
of blight. We look forward to working
with
you on this issue.
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
NANCY NAVARRO
COUNCILMEMBER, DISTRICT 4
MEMORANDUM
June 30,2014
TO:
Councilmembers
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Nancy Navarro
Councilmember
FROM:
-/'(l1/J
f
islct 4)
SUBJECT:
Community Solutions: Neighborhood Revitalization Enhancement Initiative
On
April 25, 2014, I sent a memo (attached) to the Planning, Housing and Economic
Development Committee (PHED) requesting targeted funding through a grant administered by
the Department ofHousing and Community Affairs (DHCA) for community building activities
in District 4. Specifically, I requested $120,000 for Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) to
continue their excellent work in Glenmont ($100,000) and for them to begin working
in
Connecticut Avenue Estates ($20,000). The Connecticut Avenue Estates Civic Association sent
a letter (attached), also dated Apri125, 2014, in support of this funding. I also requested
$127,350 for Impact Silver Spring for work in the following areas:
• $32,350 for Bel Pre;
• $60,000 for Wheaton; and
• $35,000 for Connecticut Avenue Estates
in
partnership withMHP.
I requested this funding because of the phenomenal track record
:MHP
and ImpaCt Silver Spring
have in neighborhood building and community development activities throughout the Coun.ty. I
chose these areas because of the outreach activities my office has been doing with a broad range
of residents who had requested these initiatives. These organizations have a history of engaging
community members who do not traditionally attend civic association meetings or participate
in
community events. I have attached a letter from the Bluehill Neighborhood Opportunity Circle,
a group representing close to 30 residents who live in the Connecticut Avenue Estates
neighborhood who are interested in continuing their work with Impact Silver Spring.
It
has
recently come to my attention that a small group of concerned residents in three
neighborhoods have expressed opposition to these DHCA contracts to nonprofits. I have met
with these individuals and they expressed a desire that the County Government focus resources
exclusively on enforcement of housing, permitting, parking, and solid waste code violations.
After meeting
with
these individuals, touring their neighborhoods With them., and revieWing the
STELLA B. WERNER COUNCIL
OFFICE
BUILOING • ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
(240) 777-7968 •
TTY
(240) 777-7914
COUNCILMEMBER.NAVARRO@MONTGOMERYCOUNTY.MD.GOV • WWW.COUNCILMEMBERNAvARRO.COM
6) .
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materials they provided to me, I am sympathetic to their desire for enhanced enforcement.
However, I do not believe this is an "either/or" proposition. I strongly oppose any redirection of
allocated funds
beca~e
this sells the community short.
Instea~
I am
in:
favor of an "andlbotb."
approach that emphasizes positive cominunity building
and
education activities, enhancing
existing code enforcement, and developing new policy initiatives that will provide lasting
solutions to the comril.Unity issUes I have observed firsthand.
There is no doubt that the Mid- and East-County
has
the vast majority of housing and code
, enforcement compl.a.i.D.ts
in
the County. MC3ll
data,
compiled by the Office of Legislative
Oversight (OLO) (attached), show
that
over the past two years, District 4
and
District 5 have
received 2,311 and 2,339 housing complaints, respectively.
The
next highest number ofhousing
complaints is District 2 at 1,772. For code enforcement requests, District 4 and District 5 have
received 4,224 and 4,256, respectively, over the past two years. District 2 comes in third, at
3,151 requests. I have attached the complete analysis by OLO. My view is that these numbers
reflect symptoms of a larger societal issue that cannot be addressed through enforcement alone.
An "enforcement only" approach would only serve to ostracize residents who are not aware of
County laws and negatively divide neighborhoods. My belief is that government's role should
be to bring people together by being welcoming to
people and educating those who are not
. aware of what is expected.
an
The comprehensive approach outlined below can serve as
a:
roadmap for how I believe we can
address community issues, not only in District 4, but throughout Montgomery County.
Community Development and Education
Developing an engaged community and educating residents about their rights
and
responsibilities as good neighbors is the cornerstone in solving
an
of the issues I have observed
in many District 4 neighborhoods. County Government alone cannot facilitate the community
building exercises that are needed to solve neighborhood problems. Thatis why our
departments (Health' and Human Services (llliS), DHCA, and others) contract with nonprofit
organizations to do much ofthis important work. Working with and strengthening existing civic
associations and neighborhood structures are the core work of organizations such as MHP and
Impact Silver Spring. They also serve as a liaison between neighborhoods and government
entities. These groups listen to the concerns of residents and structure their activities based on
those needs. For example, in neighborhoods where persistent crime is an issue, these groups can
help organize "neighborhood watch" programs. Where there are housing code issues, they can '
help educate residents about how to be better neighbors. This work is critical to addressing the
underlying issues in many neighborhoods.
Before the Council begins the FY16 Operating Budget process, I encourage DHCA
to
create an
inventory of community-based nonprofits doing this type of work in the County. DHCA should
also develop a quantitative assessment
to
measure the results of these organizations
and
objective criteria for determining what areas ofthe County would benefit most from these
initiatives.
Targeted Code
E n f o r c e m e n t ,
Residents often use the tenn "code enforcemenf' as a blanket phrase when describing quality of
life issues in a neighborhood. Residents are sometimes frustrated when reporting these issues to
MC3l1 or Council offices because the County department responding to a complaint depends
on the nature of the complaint itself. Whether the request for service is directed to the
STELLAB. WEBNER COUNCIL
OFFICE
BUILDING'
Roc.KVILLE,
MAR'YLAND
20850
(240) 777-7968 • TTY (240) 777-7914
COUNCILMEMBER.NAVARRO@MoNTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV • WWW.CoUNCILMEMBERNAvARRO.COM
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Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), DHCA, Department of Permitting Services
(DPS), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Transportation (DOn,
or an outside agency, such as the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) or
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), the constituent's goal
is getting the problem resolved.
I propose creating an interdepartmental unit comprised of officials from across County
Government to focus on quality of life issues in targeted neighborhoods. This unit would have
at least one
staff
member from the Code Enforcement Section ofDHCA, DPS, DEP, MCPD,
and DOT: They would work as a team to increase proactive enforcement ofhousing code,
parking, permitting, illegal dumping and other quality-of-life violations
in
areas identified by
the County Executive as having the greatest need.
This
unit would help mitigate the "stove
piping" or "silo" mentality that frustrates residents about government. The unit will be nimble
enough to work
in
one or more high. need area at a time and
will
complement-not replace-­
existing enforcement activities. I encourage the County Executive to recommend adequate_
funding in the FY16 Operating Budget, or sooner through a supplemental appropriation, to
implement this proposal.
Overnight Parking
One of
the
most pervasive issues in several neighborhoods around Wheaton is the lack of
overiright parking for residents in front of their homes. I observed orange construction cones in
front of several homes in an effort to "reserve" street parking spaces. Under
the
County's
current residential parking program, streets can "opt-in" to the program requiring permits during
daytime hours. The purpose oftbis program is to prevent commuters taking public transit from
parking on residential streets during the day.
In
neighborhoods where most homes do not have
driveways and are not near transit, parking shortages are most prevalent in the evening and
overnight hours.
In
the coming weeks, I plan on working closely with Montgomery County Department of
Transportation (DOl) to explore ways of expanding the County's residential parking permit
program. I believe the program should include an evening/overnight component in
neighborhoods with single-family homes that do not have driveways.
In
the fall, I plan to
introduce legislation that reflects these discussions with DOT and provides some relief for
residents who cannot find parking near their homes
in
the evening.
lliegal Dumping Enforcement and Penalties
illegal dumping is a serious quality of life issue for residents. The Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) does a very good job dealing with illegal dumping on a complaint-driven
basis. However, the County needs to employ strategies that prevents and deters illegal dumping
-~
in the
first
place.
First, I propose a targeted illegal dumping public education campaign in high.-incident
neighborhoods. This campaign should be administered by DEP in conjunction with the
County's Public Infonnation Office (PIO). I encourage the County Executive to recommend
funds in the FY16 Operating Budget to fund a broad-based., multilingual outreach effort
utilizing various forms of media--including print advertising, radio, television and the internet
Second, the County should aggressively pursue individuals who are dumping illegally in
neighborhoods. Civic Associations, along with nonprofit organizations working in the
STELLA
B.
WERNER COUNCIL
OmCE
BUILDING,' RoCKVILLE, MARYLAND 20850
(240) 777-7968' TTY (240) 777·7914
COUNCILMEMBER.NAVARRO@MoNTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV • WWW.COUNCILMEMBERNAvARRO.COM
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community, should form neighborhood watch groups to monitor dumping and report incidents
tc> the Police in real time. MCPD should also dedicate resources to monitoring areas where
illegal dumping is a chronic problem and actively engage in "sting" activities to identify
individuals engaged in this behavior.
Finally, this fall I
will
it;ttroduce legislation that increases the minimum fine for illegal dumping
in Montgomery County. Curiently, the minimum
:fine
for first-time offenders
is
$500 and the
maximum is $1,000. My legislation
will
inc~ease
the minimum to $750: Currently, the County
.is prohibited by State Law to increase the maximum fine. However, I
will
requeSt that our State
Delegation introduce legislation giving Montgomery County the authority to adopt laws that are
consistent with the lllgher penalties for illegal dumping found in the Maryland
Criminal
Code.
Currently, only Prince George's County and Calvert County have this authority under State
Law.
STELLA
B.
WERNER COUNCIL
OFFICE
BuILDING' RoCKVILI.J!:, MARYLAND 20850
(240) 777-7968' TTY (240) 777·7914
CoUNCILMEMBER.NAvARRO@MONTGOMERYCODNTYMD.GOV • WWW.CoUNCILMEMBERNAVARRO.COM
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COLINCIL
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND
GEORGE LEVENTHAL
COUNCILMEM8ER
AT-LARGE
MEMORANDUM
July
9.2014
TO:
Nancy Navarro
FROM:
George Leventhal
~
~.
SUBJECT:
RE: Community Solution - Neighborhood Revitalization Enhancement
Initiative
Thank. you for your June 30 memorandum outlining proposals for dealing
with parking, blight and other issues affecting Connecticut Avenue Estates
and the surrounding Wheaton neighborhood. Your leadership on these
. issues is helping to improve the quality of life for these residents. You
have engaged members of the community who had not had the
opportunity to have their vie\vs presented. As you know. residents have
sought assistance from at-larue councilmembers in addition to their district
.
member. While I largely agree with most of the points in your
memorandum. I wanted to share some thoughts of my
O\Vl1•.
~
~
With regard to community development and education. I understand that
non-profit service providers may sometimes
be
better equipped than
county. government to work Votith diverse communities in a culturally
competent
way.
As you will recall. during our budget discussions. I
supported funding for Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) and
Impact Silver Spring, but I also expressed a desire to see countywide
criteria whereby contracts \vith these or other organizations for community
development
v.ill
be
executed in the future.
In
addition. it is very
--- - .-- .-.. ---... ---- --important-that-weidentify-rightawaythe deliverables-wecane.xpeefffOm
these contracts. and how they \vill be monitored.
Regarding targeted code enforcement. I believe it is not necessary to
reinvent the wheeL The county already seeks a strong presence in
communities through our Regional Services Centers (RSC). As you well
know, these offices suffered tremendous cuts to
personnel
during the
recession. turning them into one man/woman shops staffed
only
by the
STELLA
8. WERNER OFFICE BUILDING
100 MARYLAND AVENUE. 6TH FLOOR. ROCKVILLE, MARVLAND 20850
240n77-781
I
OR
240n77-7900.
TTY
240n77-79
14.
FAX
24on77-7989
WWW.MONTGOMERVCOUNiYMD.GOV/COUNCIL
~
PRINTED
ON RECYCLED PAPER
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directors. Instead of creating a new position or office, I suggest that we
work in the FY2016 buqget to address staffing at our Regional Services
Centers. realizing that the directors of these centers currently possess the
knowledge of how to navigate multiple county departments. In the
meantime. the county should launch.a coordinated effort
with
existing
staff from the appropriate departments to address and remediate the issues
now.
. I wholeheartedly agree with your points regarding overnight parking, and I
look forward to working closely With you on the implementation of any
changes to the county Department of Transportation's (DOT) policy
regarding evening residential parking.
The issue of illegal dlITllping and enforcement will be one of the most
important issues we face moving forward. While I agree the county can
and should do more multilingual outreach, I also believe that the county
needs to take a firm hand with individuals who violate county law. While
an increase to the minimum fine amount would seem to be a deterrent, any
fine amount is useJessuntil an actual fine is issued. To that end, I would
suggest a mandatory fine for repeat offenders.
Please understand that I recognize your role as the district councilmember
and am eager to work coUaborativeJy with you, other council colleagues
and executive branch officials to show a united front and yield positive
results for our residents.
cc:
Craig Rice, President Montgomery County Council
Nancy Floreen, Councilrnember
Hans Riemer, Councilmember
Marc EIrich, Council member
Roger Berliner, Councilmember
Cheri Branson, Councilmember
Phil Andrews, Councilmember
Diane Schwartz-Jones, Department of Permitting Services·
Richard Nelson. Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Ana Lopez van Balen. Mid-County Regional Services Center
@
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\
12200 Tech Road. SUite 250, Silver Spring. Maryland 20904-1983
Phone: 301-622-2400
Fax: 301-622-2800
www.MHPartners.org
July 12,2016
The Honorable Nancy Floreen
President, Montgomery County Council
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Dear Council President Floreen:
On behalf of Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), please allow me to take this opportunity to
express support for Bill 25-16 Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action
Team.
MHP is honored to be a partner of the County's, and specifically the Department of Housing and
Community Development's Focused Neighborhood Assistance program. Through this partnership we
have worked with the County to address quality of life issues in Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glenmont,
Bel Pre, Long Branch, and the North Wheaton communities of Connecticut Avenue Estates, Wheaton
Hills, and Glenmont Forest. We have developed butterfly gardens, hosted National Nights Out and
Block Parties, supported neighborhood associations, removed tons of trash, installed murals, provided
new signage for businesses, and renovated vacant and abandoned homes.
One common denominator through all of these communities and initiatives has been the critical nature
of collaboration and communication between County agencies, nonprofit partners, and community
residents. Historically, this has mostly happened on an informal, ad-hoc nature. For example, currently
there is a group of representatives from the departments outlined in the bill that meets, at a minimum, on
a quarterly basis to move initiatives forward to support the North Wheaton area. We have worked
together to remove illegal cones from the street, analyze opportunities to improve cleanliness,
specifically through waste disposal challenges, and surveyed over 500 households on vehicular and
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pedestrian safety issues. This bill will provide structure to this process, enabling us to better establish
best practices and resources to bring to other communities throughout the County.
In
addition to the Action Team proposed in this legislation, we would like you to consider, in those
neighborhoods where a full action plan is not called for by the Service Center Director, in developing a
mechanism where residents can raise an issue for consideration of cross-departmental
coordination. Nothing is more frustrating for a resident than having their issue transferred around from
department to department. One option might be cross-departmental groups, set up by District that meet
on a regular basis where issues and complaints could be referred.
One caveat I will note, much of our previous successes in spurring investment and removing blight can
be attributed to the County's ability to leverage Community Development Block Grant Funds, and other
program funds to support the infrastructure changes necessary to remove the blighting factors. This is in
addition to the private funding nonprofit partners are able to bring to the table. Without supportive
funding any Neighborhood Action Team will be limited in the change efforts they are able to
implement.
It
is still critical to organize, and plan, but we must be cognitive of the limitations of the
Neighborho?dAction Team's role as we move forward
iIi
this process.
Thank you for always looking out for all residents in Montgomery County. We look forward to
continuing to work with the County to enhance the quality of life for all Montgomery County residents.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any follow-up at rgoldman@mhpartners.org or 301-812-4114.
Sincerely,
Robert A. Goldman, Esq.
President
Montgomery Housing Partnership
Bill 25-16
®
2
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Testimony of Andrew Platt in Support of Bill 25-16
IINeighborhood Action Teams"
My name is Andrew Platt, I am here today it speak in support of Bill 25-16, the "Neighborhood
Action Team." I have lived in Wheaton for the last 16 years and experienced the visual blight
and quality of life issues this bill seeks to address first hand.
The current 311 system is inadequate to address the problems that exist in my neighborhood as
a single property can have violations that span across multiple agencies. This requires that a
separate 311 report be filed for each violation and there is little coordination between
agencies.
For example, at 3006 Kingswell there is a homeowner led construction project that has been
going on for 4 years now, resulting in hazardous unfinished work, sediment flows into the
street, trash across the property, and vehicles blocking the sidewalk. Under the current system
I have to file complaints about each ofthese issues separately with Permits, DEP, DHCA, and the
Police. While each agency may come out, on their own timeline, to address their problem, the
lack of a holistic solution enables the property owner to continue to be an eyesore in the
neighborhood. Or you can look at 12022 Judson Road, which has been running an unlicensed
auto repair company for the past 13 years. When a complaint is called into DHCA, vehicles are
moved onto the street with fake plates, when the police are called about the junked cars in the
street, they are moved back onto the property. Without the coordination of multiple agencies
through a Neighborhood Action Team, resolution to these quality of life issues is handled in a
"siloed" manner on the timeline ofthe specific agency involved-which can be over 90 days in
some cases.
In addition to the coordination of targeted enforcement efforts, having the Neighborhood
Action Team working in coordination with local neighborhood associations would be of great
assistance in both outreach and in enforcement "sweeps" of specific neighborhoods. I know
that the Connecticut Avenue Estates Neighborhood Association and the Glenmont Forest
Neighbors Civic Association have conducted walk-throughs of their neighborhoods with
members of this Council. As you have seen, there are properties that have violations that
stretch across multiple agencies. If the same sort of walk-through could be conducted with the
Neighborhood Action Team, enforcement could be coordinated on the spot and the blight
problem mitigated.
To recap, Bill 25-16 and the Neighborhood Action Team present a wonderful opportunity for
the Council to address a real and substantial quality of life issue impacting my neighborhood.
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1"""j
12,2016
Good Afternoon Council President Floreen and Members of the County Council:
Over the last four years,
I
have worked closely with countless residents in Wheaton North
including, the residents of Connecticut Avenue Estates, on quality of life issues that affect our
community.
I
wholeheartedly agree with Councilmember George Leventhal's views on the
circumstances impacting my neighborhood. We understand how issues ofblight can have serious
and detrimental effects on a community's quality oflife, property values, and morale. Bill 25-16,
the Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action Team, would enable a
team tasked with evaluating deteriorating areas in communities to quickly establish workable,
timely action plans to address issues of blight.
In
CAENA's own organizational efforts, it has
been very difficult navigating mUltiple agencies and their respective processes. The result is a
very frustrating, time-consuming experience when trying to address pertinent issues in a
fragmented manner.
I
believe this legislation will go a long way in coordinating County
resources to better assist County residents experiencing similar issues.
Bill 25-16 is an equitable way to spread resources to every neighborhood in Montgomery
County. Furthermore, this bill will formalize existing coordinated interagency efforts occurring
informally to address quality oflife issues. Passage and implementation of this bill would also
instill hope and aspiration for future residents who will seek out
all areas
of the County to raise
a family. The enactment of this bill will symbolize the County's embrace and adaptation to
cultural shifts and it's reception to and support of the type of growth and maintenance we see in
specific areas ofthe County and want
throughout the entire
County.
Not only can this bill be regarded as a mechanism for change, but the implications of its
enactment are profound and necessary. The profundity of this bill lies in its potential to serve as
a model for other regional Counties, and potentially nationally. The type of action-oriented,
splution-driven principles embedded in this legIslation is needed in our communities now.
People deserve a responsive government and one that leads effectively, especially given the
current social climate. People across the nation are in need of leadership, solutions, and
measurable change. As a County perfectly positioned
in
the backyard of our nation's capital, this
is a unique opportunity for the County Council assume a leadership role and send a clear
message to every resident in the County that our local government will assure their living
conditions are important and a priority. Residents need to know they are cared for and policies
are in place to offer them the best possible advantages. Just as the color of our skin should not
determine access to opportunities or success, nor should a zip code determine the success of a
neighborhood. We need policies to foster healthy and sustainable living conditions. This nation
is experiencing turmoil from difficult issues that have long been unaddressed; you have the
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distinctive opportunity to address specific issues before they become too difficult and remind
every resident conscious of our current times that we live
in
a great County willing and capable
of fostering a more perfect community. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you
all have a great day and productive week.
Nichelle Dowell, President
Connecticut Avenue Estates Neighborhood Association (CAENA)
11913 Dalewood Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20902
443-415-2639
Connecticut Avenue
Estat~s NEI~HBORHOOD
Association (CAENA)
We are ActlOn-Orrented-Solutiol1-Driven
/
I
Need Help Handling Community-Related matters?
Contact us: caena20902!IVgmail.com
@
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From: "kimblynpersaud@aol.com" <kimblynpersaud@aol.com>
Date:
7/12/2016
1:19:02 PM
To: "county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov" <county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Cc: "councilmember.leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<councilmember.leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov>,
"councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov>,
"councilmember.berliner@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<councilmember.berliner@montgomerycountymd.gov>,
"councilmember.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov" <councilmember.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov>,
"councilmember.floreen@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<councilmember.floreen@montgomerycountymd.gov>, "councilmember.rice@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<councilmember.rice@montgomerycountymd.gov>, "councilmember.riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<councilmember.riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov>, "ike.leggett@montgomerycountymd.gov"
<ike.leggett@montgomerycountymd.gov>, "joan 1234@gmail.com" <joan 1234@gmail.com>,
"susiekrasnican@gmail.com" <susiekrasnican@gmail.com>, "lucy.wells321@gmail.com"
<lucy. wells321@gmail.com>
Subject: Bill 25-16
Councilmember Leventhal,
I have been before the County Council many times to testify against legislation that has destroyed our
quality of life and decimated our sense of pride. I have witness my neighbors being called racist, because
they were concerned about blight and the impact it would have on their property values. I've sat in meetings
with County Representatives from the various departments, as they came up with every excuse as to why it
took them seven years to finally site a house for being an illegal rooming house. I've sat in meetings at Mid­
County and listened as DCHS, DPS and DEP justified why they continued to look the other way, as they
allow our communities to become slums. I've walked up and down Connecticut Avenue Estates with County
Council members to identify problem areas, only to find out that the Council had chosen to give money to
MHP and Impact Silver Spring to address issues of blight in the neighborhood.
Now, you and Councilmember Navarro have had an epiphany, issues of blight can have serious and
deleterious effects on a community's quality oflife, property value and morale. The community has been
saying this and documenting the effects for years. If you are truly interested in combating the destructive
effects of blight in our communities, I would suggest:
- Starting with the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), the Department of Permitting
Services (DPS), the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, they must
start enforcing the laws that are on the books.
- In our neighborhood, we have several illegal rooming houses, that have been identified as rooming house,
but they are not registered. All rooming houses and accessory apts. must be registered!
- We have legal rooming houses that have not been inspected in years, if ever. While in Takoma Park,
httn!::·/Imr.r.nllnr.ilmcUmhostedio.com/COUNTY COUNCILlview eml 2.asox?rid=5111218&oid=93517&did=&from_set=&fromJma=&noteJd=
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Rooming homes and accessory apts. are inspected annually - we must have the same service.
- We need the County Council to revisit the commercial vehicle's law - even these small commercial vehicles
are wrecking havoc on the streets we live on.
- We need the County Council to address Accessory Apts. and overcrowded living conditions, which leads to
an enormous amount of trash, which leads to a ripe feeding ground for rodents, unsafe living conditions and
parking issues.
- Affordable housing!!!!
Everything I've listed has been said a million times, it doesn't take rocket scientist to figure out there's a
direct correlation between the lack of code enforcement and public squalor. Simply stated, the legislation as
it is, is nothing more than another level bureaucracy, which will accomplish nothing if the aforementioned
list is not implemented.
Sincerely,
Kimblyn Persaud
President, Wheaton Regional Park Neighborhood Association
httn<:·//m"""",nt"'ilmrllmhn.<:IArlincnm/COUNTY COUNCIUvifNI eml 2.asox?rid=5111218&oid=93517&did=&from_set=&fromjma=&notejd=
212
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From: "Me" <gwpattonl@yahoo.com>
Date: 7/11/2016 8:51:37 PM
To: "county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov" <county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Cc:
Subject: New neighborhood bill- same song, old story
To combat the issue of blight we need the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), the
Department of Permitting Services (DPS), the Department of Transportation, the Department of
Environmental Protection to enforce the laws that are on the books.
- In our neighborhood, we have several illegal rooming houses, that have been identified as rooming house,
but they are not registered. All rooming houses and accessory apts. must be registered.
- We have legal rooming houses that have not been inspected
in
years, if ever. While in Takoma Park,
Rooming homes and accessory apts. are inspected annually - we must have the same service.
- We need the County Council to revisit the commercial vehicle's law - even these small commercial vehicles
are wrecking havoc on our quality oflife. If you could take pictures of all the cars parked on the. street, that
would be helpful.
- We need the County Council to address Accessory Apts. and overcrowded living conditions, which create a
burden on County services, and creates huge amounts of trash, which creates rodents. Not to mention, unsafe
living conditions and parking issues.
- Property Taxes have already increased, how are they planning on paying for these services?
A similar model to bill 25-16 was used to help fight blight in the Connecticut Ave. Estates area ..... .it failed
and now, Councilmember Navarro and Leventhal have come up with this legislation. Unless the County
Council address these issues first, bill 25-16 is just another level of bureaucracy with unyielding results that
we will have to pay for.
GW Patton
20902
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From: "NINA KOLTNOW" <ninack@me.com>
Date:
71121201610:15:13
AM
To: "county.counci1@montgomerycountymd.gov" <county.counci1@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Cc:
Subject: Bill 25-16
Dear Council Members,
As a longtime resident of Wheaton, I am writing in opposition to Bill 25-16. While we would like much of
Wheaton to be cleaned up, another committee is not the solution. Suitable laws are not n the books, and have
only to be enforced. If Wheaton were given resources equivalent to other areas of the county in tenns of
enforcement, we would not have much of the blight we have today.
For example,
- In our neighborhood, we have several illegal rooming houses, that have been identified as rooming house,
but they are not registered. All rooming houses and accessory apts. must be registered.
- We have legal rooming houses that have not been inspected in years, if ever. While in Takoma Park,
Rooming homes and accessory apts. are inspected annually - we must have the same service.
- We need the County Council to revisit the commercial vehicle's law - even these small convnercia1 vehicles
are wrecking havoc on our quality oflife.
- We need the County Council to address Accessory Apts. and overcrowded living conditions, which create a
burden on County services, and creates huge amounts of trash, which creates rodents, not to mention unsafe
living conditions and parking issues.
A similar model to bill 25-16 was used to help fight blight in the Connecticut Ave. Estates area ...... it failed.
Unless the County Council address these issues first, bill 25-16 is just another level of bureaucracy with
unyielding results that we will have to pay for.
Thank you for for your time,
Nina Koltnow
2314
Parker AV
Wheaton
Sent from my iPad .
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Hillandale Citizens Association
Comments on Montgomery County Bill 25-16
"Neighborhood Action Team"
The Executive Committee of the Hillandale Citizens Association (HCAtsupports Bill
25-16 to establish a countywide Neighborhood Action Team (NAT), which, at the request of
a Regional Services Center, would bring focus to, and develop an action plan for, any
specific community experiencing blight and declining "quality of life" in Montgomery
County. However, we also ask that Council take this opportunity to help all neighborhoods
by augmenting this legislation.
As an active association, we recognize that maintaining our community is essential.
To that end, our residents look to County agencies, primarily, but not exclusively, the
Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) and the Department of Permitting
Services (DPS), for code enforcement to avoid potential blight and neighborhood decline.
Unfortunately, sometimes enforcement falls short of full compliance, often takes too long
and, at times, is ineffective. Occasionally problems are referred to other agencies without
resolution, or between departments within agencies and never addressed. For residents
experiencing these failures, the lack of a visible, positive outcome is frustrating and erodes
confidence in the County's ability to solve problems.
Although not part of the current NAT legislation, we ask Council augment this Bill
with a new proactive "tool" for communities not experiencing large-scale blight to have
improved code enforcement outcomes. This additional resource could either be through a
request to the NAT, or with establishment of agency ombudsmen/trouble shooters directly
available to residents. The goal is to have improved visibility and resolution to difficult cases
not being addressed by normal code enforcement actions. This new process could also be a
quality source of feedback on how specific agencies are doing and provide insight to any
needed improvements in service request management.
We ask for your support of our idea to improve the Neighborhood Action Team
legislation. Having a clear and resident-friendly method of resolving difficult neighborhood
"quality of life" situations will help Montgomery County communities avoid decline and
possible blighted properties.
Submitted by RCA
July 22,2016
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ROCKVU.l.E, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
July 29, 2016
TO:
Nancy Horren, President, County Council
~.'
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Jennifer A. Hughes, Director, Office
Budget
Robert
Hagedoom,
Acting Director, Department
ofFinance
FEIS for Bill 25-16, Housing and Building Maintenance
Standards­
Neighborhood
ofManage~d
Please find attached the fiscal and economic impact statements for the above­
referenced legislation.
JAH:fz
cc: Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa
Austin, Offices of
the
County Executive
Joy Nurmi, Special Assistant to the County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director, Public Information Office
Robert Hagedoom, Acting Director, Department of Finance
Diane Jones, Director, Department of Permitting Services
David Platt, Department ofFinance
Dennis Hetman, Office of Management and Budget
Jennifer Nordin, Office ofManagement and Budget
Alex Espinosa, Office of Management and Budget
Amy Wilson, Office of Management and Budget
Naeem Mia, Office ofManagement and Budget
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
Fiscal Impact Statement
Council Bill 25-16 Housing and Building :Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action
Team
1.
Legislative Summary:
Bill 25-16 would require the Executive to create a Neighborhood Action Team to address
visual blight and other quality oflife issues
in
the County. The Bill also specifies the
duties and membership criteria ofthe Neighborhood Action Team.
2. An estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless of whether the
revenues or expenditures are assumed
in
the recommended or approved budget. Includes
source of infonnation, assumptions. and methodologies used.
The only additional estimated expenditure
is
the need for professional staff to respond
to
coordinated enforcement action occasionally on weekends when specific issues related to
non-weekday home occupationlbusiness activities occur. The Department of Pennitting
Services (DPS) estimates that as much as 500 hours of overtime pay or comparable
exmtractor expenses may be necessary
to
cover these activities annually. Inspection.') of
this nature will be performed by a Permitting
&
Code Enforcement Inspector Ill. The
total cost for this overtime expenditure is estimated at the maximum of a grade 23 salary,
with an estimated modest increase of2% yearly:
$67.00 (Grade 23 at timelhalf) x 500 hours
=
$33,500
.... ,,_ ._ ,_.,,, __ ,_ .OJ"'
<......"• •, ....
w " ...........
~
~
...
~
_ _
,~
~.~
~'~:'"
~.",.~.~
,....
.......
. ••••••••
~.
•.....
~
• .,.. '"
....
~
..
~.·N~
~
;$
FY17
.•.
,....~
;
,
FY18
........
~,,
:
FY19
FY20
FY21!
33,500 :
$
34,170 :
$
34,853
... '" ..... _
~_"\''''_'''"'"'''''""
..., •• < .' ,.•.•..•..• "'" .,••.•••.•...•.•••••
!
$
3S,S5O;
$
36,261 '
~.'"
............, .•
'~.v
.............'."''' ....... '
.v,.,,".n",,.,~~~
__ ,, ...;' , ....
The Department of Transportation (DOT), Department ofHousing and Community
Affairs (DHCA), Department of Environmental Protection (OEP), and the Police
Department do not anticipate similar over-time expenditures.
Each of ihe affected departments believes any additional expenditures can be absorbed
and managed through their current
~1affingcompliment
and funding levels.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates c.overing at least the next 6 fiscal years.
The total cost for DPS overtime expenditure is estimated at the maximum of a grade 23
salary, with an estimated modest increase of 2% yearly is as follows:
"'Fyi?"""
~-
"FY18FY'i9""(
~-,
Fvio" ,
~
••••.•..
~
FY21
y ·n .............. n·v." ., ....., ";
, $ .
33,500 ;
$
34,170 :
$
34,853 ;
$
35,550 :
.
$
36,261
!
..:
~
.••.,. " ......
~.
v·.'".·
<
.~
••,."'".'.
" •• -,'." .', ..
~
.~
, ..... '" , •• , •••• _ ••:..
N
v
"'y'
~,
... ,," ...... - ..............
'1~
., .... "'"
.~(;)~~I.~x~~r~()~t~:
; $174,335
i
4.
An
actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each bill that would affect
retiree pension or group insurance costs.
There is no impact to retiree pension or group insurance costs.
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
5. Later actions
that
may affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the bill authorizes future
!:lpending.
Bill
No. 25-16 does not authorize future spending. Depending on the success of
coordinated actions related to this regulation, additional staff may be needed to
accommodate an increase in coordinated enforcement action throughout all five Regional
Service Center areas.
6.
An
estimate of the staff time needed to implement the
Bill.
Initially, staff time will involve the research and planning related
to
the Neighborhood
Action Committee itself. Later, coordinated enforcement action may involve several
staff members fTom the affected departments implementing the committee's
recommendations for each ofthe Regional Service Center areaS.
7. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would' affect other duties.
'The
overall impact to new staff responsibilities may depend on the hours required to
carry out the Conunittee's recommendations for each of the Regional Service Center area
which is difficult to estimate at this time.
.
8.
An
estimate of costs when an additional appropriation is needed.
Additional staff responsibilities may involve the need for working outside core hours and
'weekends. The total cost for this overtime expenditure in the DPS is estimated at
the
maximum of a grade 23 saIaty, with an estimated modest increase of 2% ye-ariy:
................ ............. ..
~
~
-;~
.......
".,,·.n
...
~
~
"'~t
~._
...
.Yo_
.......
~-~;-
..
w .... _
........·
w~
........
""~'
•.
'.'
"W~ '··'·.··~·.~·i
FY17
FY18;' FY19
i
FY20 ; FY21 ;
: $
-
33,500;
'.' ;.' ......, , .... .,. ".......
I
r -
$
34,853
w"y
:
...
$
.., ..,........., .... '." ;..•........•.................''' ....;
'
$
34,170
-..... ,............. ,. . .
v,··.·
35,550!
$
36,261
: ,.....'..' ... ...... ,,""
~
'~
~
··vv
·,
..... v
,
..
'v
.•. , . .
,.,< .., . . . . .
. ' . ' .
; .....
.
',w_"
"""~()taI6 year~~s.~:,w."
..
LJ174,33.5 :"" .'.
,w,.'
The Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Housing and Community
Affairs (DHCA), Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP),
and the Police
Department do not anticipate similar over-time expenditures.
Each of the affected departments believes any additional expt.'Ilditures can be absorbed
and managed through their current staffing compliment and funding levels.
9. A description of any variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
Total incidents handled
by
the team will have a direct impact on costs. This variable is
difficult to project at
this
time given a lack of historical metrics tracking incidents
requiring responses.
10. Ranges of revenue or expenditures that are uncertain or difficult to project.
Until each of the Regional Service Center areas are evaluated,
it
is impossible to predict
total expenditures related to implementing the Committee's recommendations related to
coordinated enforcement action.
11. If a Bill is likely to have no fiscal impact, why that is the case.
Additional staff responsibilities may involve the need for working outside core hours and
weekends.
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12. Other fiscal inipact<; or comments.
Not
applicable.
13. The following contributed to and concurred
with
this analysis: (Enter name and
department).
HadiMansouri, DPS
Barbara Suter, DPS
Brady Goldsmith, OMB
Tim Goetzinger, DHCA
Patty Bubar, DEP
Robin Ennis, DEP
Neil Shorb, Police
Dennis
He~
DPS
.
.~.
t;)·
/JA_~
Jennifer A.
W-
es,
Office
ofM~agement
and Budget
F
Dire~--­
Date
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 25.16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action
Background:
This legislation would require the County Executive to create a Neighborhood Action Team
(Team). The legislation would also specify the duties and membership of the Team. Bill 25-16
lists the membership ofthe Team as follows:
• The Department of Transportation;
• The Department of Housing and Community Affairs;
• The Department of Permitting Services;
• The Department of Environmental Protection;
• The Police Department; and
• Any representative the Regional Services Center Director or the County Executive finds
necessary.
Bill 25-16 requires the Team
to
"create
a
plan with recommended actions to address blight and
quality oflife issues in any affected community."
1.
The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
Source of information:
Assessing blight and its economic impacts: a case study ojDallas, T)('
P. Maghelal, S. Andrew, S. Arlikatti, aild H.S. Jang, Department of Public Administration,
University
of
North Texas, 2014. The Department ofFinance did not develop methodologies in
the preparation of this economic impact statement
According to the study
by
Maghelal ei aI., the authors contend that blighted neighborhoods
"ditTer only jn degrees to non-blighted areas." Studies of urban blight have analyzed the
presence of vacant lots as ·'attracting crime, dumping, abandoned or dilapidated housing. and
commercial and rental properties owned by non-complying absentee landlords." More recent
studies have moved from the structural aspects of condemned hou..,ing to a more systematic
analysis of neighborhood quality
and
the
socio-economic
characteristics
of neighborhood
residents.
The
objective ofthe legislation is the creation ofthe Team to address
"visual
blight and other
quality of life issues." Therefore, Finance assumes that the objective of
Bill
25-16 is not only to
analyze the economic impact of vacant lots but to undertake a systematic analysis of
neighborhood quality and the socio-economic characteristics of neighborhood residents,
that is,
the quality
of
life issues.
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
There are no assumed variables that could afTect the economic impact estimates.
Bill
25-16
establishes the Team
that
will
create
a
plan to address blight and the quality oflife in atTected
communities. It is the definitive plan create.d by the Team that will identify those variables that
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 25-16, Housing and UuiJding Maintenance Standards - Neigbborhood Action
could have an economic impact on the County's economy and specifically the economy of the
blighted area.
3. Tbe Bill's positive or negative effect,
if
any on employment, spending, savings,
investment, incomes, and property values in the County.
Bill 25-16
would have no direct positive or negative effect on the Cotmty's economy. However,
the action plan created
by
the Team and
its
implementation
could have a positive
economic
effect
4.
If
a BiU is likely to have no economic impact, why
is
that tbe case?
Bill 25-16
would have no direct impact on the County's economy. Please see paragraph 3.
5.
The following contributed to or concurred with this analysis:
David Plati, Department
of
Finance.
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVIlLE, MARYLAND 20850
Isiah Leggett
MEMORANDUM
September 22,2016
County Executive
TO:
Nancy Floreen, President
County Council
FROM:
Isiah
County Executive
Legge~
~
RE:
Bill 25-16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action
Team
On
July 28,2016, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee
held a worksession on Bill 25-16 and made a recommendation to forward the Bill to the full
Council for final action. The vote was two votes in favor with one abstension. Several members
of my staff attended that worksession to provide comments on the Bill. I am writing today to
provide you with an update on several steps I am taking that relate to the intent behind the Bill.
First, I wish to commend Councilmembers Leventhal and Navarro for sponsoring
Bi1l25-16.
It
seeks to address quality of life issues in our County, issues that can be very
complex, on an interdepartmental basis. I also wish to commend Councilmember Navarro for
sharing her concerns about blight in and around the Connecticut A venue Estates community in
Wheaton. As you may recall, and as acknowledged by Councilmember Navarro during your
discussion of the Bill,_ in 2014 I pulled together an interdisciplinary team of department directors
and other Executive staff, along with key nonprofit partners, to develop a holistic plan to address
the many issues present in the community. While there continues to be room for improvement,
that informal, but very serious and concerted effort has been successful in making many positive
changes.
The frontline County presence on most community issues are our very dedicated
Regional Service Center Directors (Regional Director) who are fully engaged with the
communities on a daily basis. Individually and collectively, they possess a thorough
understanding of the County Government organization, programs, services, priorities, and the
physical, diverse socio-economic demographic characteristiCs ofthe regions, tools essential to
helping address complex local problems and in the development of public policy affecting
communities.
A
core function ofthe Regional Director is to anticipate and/or identify community
probleins, especially those that will require multiple agencies' involvement in order to resolve
the problem.
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Nancy Floreen, President
September 22, 2016
Page 2
When Regional Directors identify an issue, they assess, coordinate and
recommend interdepartmental/cross-agency activities and facilitate the delivery of public
services. Their role is to bring the departments/agencies (including state and at times federal
agencies) together and jointly devise a strategy for addressing the challenges facing the particular
local community in their region.
In
addition to the work previously mentioned in Wheaton, some
examples of issues dealt with by Cathy Matthews, our Upcounty Director, include the
Middlebrook Mobile Homes Park in Germantown and Mel's Ice
Rink
in Poolesville. Each of
these issues involved multiple departments, outside agencies and sensitive discussions and
negotiations to reach a resolution.
With the mission and work of our Regional Service Centers as a foundation, I am
establishing a Neighborhood Action Team (Team). The Team will include the Regional
Directors, the Directors of the Departments of Housing and Community Affairs, Permitting
Services, Environmental Protection, Health and Human Services, Recreation and Transportation,
the Police Department, the Office of Community Partnerships and, significantly, the CountyStat
Office. Other representatives will be included on an as-needed basis. When appropriate, the
Team may take advantage of community groups that can supplement the County's response,
through their first-hand experience working with the community.
The Team can be activated in one of several ways. First, because they are closest
to the communities and the residents in their respective areas, the Regional Directors often will
be in the best position to identify (in many cases, along with information from Councilmembers
and their staff) when certain community issues reach a critical mass that require a multi­
disciplinary approach. While not an exact science and generally a more subjective approach, we
are working on developing the criteria that can be used as a guide for these determinations. We
also will employ a more objective "trigger" mechanism that would activate the Team by using a
systematic observation of 311 and other data that County Stat collects to identify recurring issues
in a particular community. The Team will not
be
activated to address every single issue or
individual complaint that is reported but will be reserved for those issues that require cross­
departmental action.
Stakeholder agencies will be identified and informed of the problem. The Team
will then assess and prioritize sub-issues and other factors related to the problem, the resources
available and other support that may be needed. A strategy or action plan will be developed with
an ongoing eye for opportunities to maximize resomces and for possible challenges to the
desired outcome(s). The plan will typically include targeted outreach, informational meeting(s)
with the affected community members, the general strategies to address the problem(s), and
mechanisms to solicit the residents' observations and ideas and keep them informed. The
Regional Director, in particular, will also engage in sensitive discussions and negotiations with
principal stakeholders to secure their "buy-in," cooperation, and additional resomces when
necessary.
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Nancy Floreen, President
September 22, 2016
Page 3
Throughout the process, there will also
be
an ongoing effort to identify potential
opportunities to expand the community benefit or to develop or re-evaluate policy.
The work of the Team will be tracked and reported in several ways. First, we will
utilize CountyStat to track progress on the established goals for addressing each issue. The status
of the Team's work will be reported monthly, directly to the Chief Administrative Officer. _
Reporting to Council can be made on a quarterly basis as part ofthe Council's meetings with the
Regional Directors.
To reiterate what CounCilmembers have already heard, we already have much of
these coordinated efforts in place through our Regional Directors. I believe my approach
described above accomplishes the very worthy goals of Bill 25-16 in a more appropriate, flexible
and holistic way.
IL/jn
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE,
MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
TO:
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
Nancy Navarro, Councilmember
I
~~_AI_
George Leventhal,
Councilmemberi~r
October 7,2016
Bill 25-16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood
Action Team
FROM:
-----tf-[j'
DATE:
SUBJECT:
We are in receipt of your memorandum dated September 22,2016 regarding Bill 25-16,
Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Neighborhood Action Team. Thank you
for your attention to the important quality of life issues this legislation seeks to address.
We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of the legislation and the proactive steps you
are now taking to help address these issues.
In a memorandum to you dated June 30, 2014, Councilmember Navarro wrote:
I propose creating an interdepartmental unit comprised of officials from
across County Government to focus on quality of life issues in
neighborhoods. This unit would have at least one staff member from the
Code Enforcement Section ofDHCA, DPS, DEP, MCPD, and DOT. They
would work as a team to increase proactive enforcement of housing code,
parking, permitting, illegal dumping, and other quality-of-life violations in
areas identified by the County Executive as having the greatest need. This
unit would help mitigate the "stove piping" or "silo" mentality that
frustrates residents about government. The unit will be nimble enough to
work in one or more high need areas at a time and will complement-not
replace--exiting enforcement activities. I encourage the County Executive
to recommend adequate funding in the FYl6 Operating Budget, or sooner
through a supplemental appropriation, to implement this proposal.
Since that time, the Executive Branch has informally set up interdepartmental working
groups for targeted areas to address parking, public safety, code enforcement, and other
issues. However, this process was never formalized, as envisioned in Councilmember
Navarro's memo, nor were funds appropriated for this specific purpose. We introduced
STELLA
B.
WERNER COUNCIL OFFICE BmLDING • ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
20850
(240) 777-7968 • TTY (240) 777-7914
COUNCILMEMBER.NAVARRO@MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV • WWW.COUNCILMEMBERNAVARRO.COM
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Bi1125-16 for two primary reasons: I) Formalize the Neighborhood Action Team model
so it can be replicated and implemented as needed throughout the County and 2)
Establish a reporting mechanism so the Council is kept abreast of Neighborhood Action
Team activities and accomplishments.
Executive Branch staff raised concerns with Council Staff and Councilmembers about
potential unintended consequences of passing Bill 25-16. Executive Branch staff was
concerned that by creating the Neighborhood Action Team through legislation, it would
be subject to the Open Meetings Act. Council Staff agreed with this assessment. While
we strongly support transparency and openness whenever possible, Executive Staff raised
legitimate privacy concerns because of the sensitive nature of information that the
Neighborhood Action Team may discuss. For example, a resident may be in violation of
the housing code due to financial challenges or a serious health condition. While we
agree that County Departments should work with residents to comply with the code, it
would be inappropriate for the County to disclose these sorts of personal details about a
resident under these circumstances.
We understand that your memorandum creating a Neighborhood Action Team seeks to
balance these privacy concerns, while maintaining the original intent ofthe legislation.
We are pleased that your description of the Neighborhood Action Team's responsibilities
are identical to what we proposed in Bill 25-16. However, we continue to believe
legislation is appropriate to strengthen the reporting requirement for these activities.
Monthly reports to the Chief Administrative Officer are important, but not adequate in
and of themselves, for maintaining the level of transparency we seek in Bill 25-16. We
have asked our legislative attorney to draft an amendment to Bill 25-16 that would
institute a reporting requirement that will provide the Council and the public with regular
updates on the Neighborhood Action Team's activities.
Thank you again for your attention to this issue. We look forward to moving ahead with
legislation that will strengthen the Neighborhood Action Team, public transparency and
quality of life for our residents.
STELLA
B.
WERNER COUNCIL OFFICE BUILDING· ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
20850
(240) 777-7968 • TTY (240) 777-7914
COUNCILMEMBER.NAVARRO@MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV • WWW.COUNCILMEMBERNAVARRO.COM