PHED Item 3
Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee
Amanda Mihill, Legislative Attorney
Bill 39-16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards
Registration of Vacant Property
Bill 39-16, Housing and Building Maintenance Standards - Registration of Vacant Property,
sponsored by Lead Sponsor Councilmember Hucker and Co-Sponsors Councilmembers Leventhal
and Navarro, then-Vice President Berliner, Councilmembers Eirich, Riemer, and Rice, and then
Council President Floreen, was introduced on September 20, 2016. A public hearing was held on
November 1. Select testimony and correspondence in on ©21-59.
Bill 39-16 would:
require owners of certain unmaintained vacant buildings to register those vacant
buildings with the Director of the Department of Housing and Community
require owners of certain unmaintained vacant buildings to pay certain fees;
require inspections for certain unmaintained vacant buildings; and
generally amend County law on housing and building maintenance standards.
Additional background materials from Lead Sponsor Hucker is attached on ©8.
Issues for Committee Consideration
The testimony and correspondence that the Council has received on this issue has been generally
supportive. However, a few issues have been raised, which are addressed below.
Should Councilmember Hucker's amendments be adopted?
Since Bill 39-16 has been
introduced, Councilmember Hucker developed a series of amendments to the bill to address
concerns raised. The Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) raised substantive
concerns related to privacy and public access to the proposed registry. Specifically, DHCA staff
felt it was ill-advised to create a real-time list of vacant houses throughout the County since that
list would then be subject to the Maryland Public Information Act. (Staff notes that the State