Montgomery, Md., Building Moratorium; Md. to Continue Killing Mute Swans; Funds Sought for Preparedness Partnership
Home-Building Moratorium Is Approved
The Montgomery County Planning Board last night approved a residential building moratorium in communities served by Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Clarksburg and Seneca Valley high schools. The measure would not affect projects with approved plans.
New school system data predict substantial school crowding in those areas in 2014 unless more classrooms are built. County law requires the board to impose a moratorium, which would last at least one year and could be renewed.
Schools in neighborhoods served by Walter Johnson, Northwest, Northwood, Paint Branch, Quince Orchard, Richard Montgomery, Rockville, Wheaton and Walt Whitman high schools are projected to exceed 105 percent of classroom capacity in 2014. That triggers a requirement that builders in those areas help fund additional classrooms.
The data could prove significant to a debate on how best to absorb newcomers. The Planning Board begins a major review this week of county growth laws.
-- Miranda S. Spivack
State Renews Policy on Killing Mute Swans
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will continue to kill mute swans and destroy their eggs in an effort to keep the invasive species from devouring marsh grasses vital to Chesapeake Bay.
Yesterday, the DNR endorsed the recommendations of a state task force that reviewed the program, which has reduced the number of mute swans from 4,000 10 years ago to fewer than 500 today.
Jonathan McKnight, the DNR biologist who coordinated the mute swan advisory committee, said, "There is a solid body of scientific literature demonstrating that this species . . . causes harm to native species and the Chesapeake ecosystem."