The following were among items discussed at Tuesday's meeting of the Montgomery County Council. For more information, call 217-7900.
APRIL-STEWART LANE REZONING -- The County Council rejected a proposal to rezone nearly 35 acres of a 56-acre rural enclave near Montgomery's White Oak area, angering residents there who had hoped to take advantage of a developer's offer to buy their single-family houses as part of a plan to build 600 garden and mid-rise apartments on the site.
Acting on a proposal by council member Isiah Leggett, who argued that the developer's offer was too low and therefore took advantage of the dozen or so famillies, the council voted 5 to 1 to reject a bid for more intensive development, and instead designated the land known as the April-Stewart Lane area as parkland to be purchased by the county. The county now will match or better the developer's bid.
The April-Stewart Lane area is one of the last rural black villages left in the eastern section of the county. It is surrounded by the booming development that has occurred along the Rte. 29 corridor.
The predominantly black neighborhood has no paved roads, no county water or sewer service and no door-to-door mail service. The neighborhood was once home to more than 50 families, but most have moved out, although many retained a financial interest in the land.
In rejecting the amendment to the county's master plan, Leggett and other council members cited the already overburdened roads and schools in the area as additional reasons for blocking more intensive development.
Residents of April-Stewart Lane have been angered by what they view as Leggett's interference in a deal between them and the developer. Many in the community are anxious to sell and move out and consider the developer's bid for between $40,000 and $125,000 an acre as satisfactory.
Council member William E. Hanna Jr. voted against Leggett's proposal. County Executive Sidney Kramer and Planning Board Chairman Norman L. Christeller supported the master plan amendment for more intensive development.
TANNING SALONS -- The council introduced a bill sponsored by Council President Michael L. Subin to require that minors be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when using a commercial tanning machine.
Current law requires a consent form signed by parents for minors over the age of 14. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent.