The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Montgomery County Council. For more information, call 251-7900.
ADULT FOSTER CARE -- The council introduced a bill designed to increase the number of unlicensed respite care or adult foster care homes in the county.
Currently, respite or adult foster care homes with three or more clients must be licensed as residential facilities. The new council bill would exempt homes with three or fewer clients from licensing requirements.
The bill would not apply to homes in the municipalities of Barnesville, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Laytonsville, Poolesville or Washington Grove.
TRUCK COVERS -- The council introduced a bill that would require vehicles carrying loose or bulky materials to be covered.
The council's attempt at regulation comes after repeated attempts by the Montgomery delegation to the Maryland legislature to win passage of a statewide truck cover bill -- attempts blocked by the truck lobby.
A council staff member said preliminary legal findings show that such a law would be enforceable on county roads, but it is unclear whether it could be enforced on state roads in Montgomery.
DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL -- A council-appointed committee has recommended that the county not substantially change its existing procdures for approving new development, despite support for change by County Executive Sidney Kramer.
Kramer had endorsed relaxed controls under which county planners would give final approval to developments only about one year ahead of construction rather than several years -- as occurs under current county planning procedures.
Kramer urged that the test of whether there are adequate roads, schools and other public facilities to handle a new development, under the strict Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, be delayed until the building permit stage, about one year before actual construction. The test is currently applied early in the planning process, at the time of subdivision approval. Kramer argued that the early adequacy test is often inaccurate, since in some areas builders may complete projects ahead of schedule and long before road and school facilities are expanded to handle the developments, resulting in traffic jams and overcrowded schools. In other areas builders have put off approved construction indefinitely, although the county may have built new schools and roads to handle that development.
The committee, which included citizen and business members, recommended the regulations not be substantially changed. However, it did propose that additional subdivisions be approved in areas where the county has built adequate public facilities.