The following were among items discussed at Tuesday's meeting of the Montgomery County Council. For more information, call 251-7900.
TAXI LEGISLATION -- Responding to a growing need for taxi cabs in Montgomery County, the county council introduced legislation to allow the number of taxi licenses issued each year to be based on population growth.
Currently, the number of licenses issued annually is set at 384. The council bill, introduced at the request of County Executive Sidney Kramer, would set the the number of licenses at .80 licenses per 1,000 people in the county. For example, 544 licenses would be issued in 1988 because the population is expected to be about 680,000.
To minimize any adverse impact on taxis now operating in the county, the bill would limit to 40 the number of licenses issued under the new system for the next four years.
Under the bill, the county also would create a lottery system to use for issuing licenses and create a nine-member taxicab services advisory committee to run the new system.
The group's members would be five citizens and four taxi industry representatives. Of the four industry members, two would represent management and two would represent drivers.
SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL -- The council introduced a bill that would require owners of single-family houses to remove ice and snow from paved sidewalks and walkways abutting their property.
The bill, sponsored by council member Rose Crenca, comes in response to complaints from citizens who were worried that senior citizens and children might have to walk in the streets if sidewalks are not cleared.
The police department, which currently enforces similar laws governing multi-family, commercial and industrial properties, also would be reponsible for enforcing the new legislation, which was introduced as an emergency bill.
Bills labeled as emergency legislation become effective immediately after being signed by the county executive. Legislation without the special emergency designation becomes effective 91 days after the county executive signs it.
The bill exempts any owner whose age, disability or health makes him unable to comply with the law.
The penalty for noncompliance would be $25.
Similar legislation has been passed in Prince George's, Howard and Baltimore counties, as well as in the cities of Baltimore, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Takoma Park. The Rockille and Baltimore laws were challenged, but were upheld by the Court of Appeals.