Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Developers Seek to Erode School Protections

According to today's Capital, the County Council is seeking to "address" crowded schools. Of course, for the development community pushing the bill, "address" means "remove the school capacity related obstructions to new home construction by any means necessary." Council members Dillon, Vitale, and Benoit are developing a new methodology for determining school capacity, which is more responsive to demographic changes, and that is a good thing.

However, simultaneously, the eerily named Alliance for Fair Land Use, has been lobbying, persistently, to drop the adequacy of public facilities requirements for "small property owners." John Pantelides, paid lobbyist for the development community, and head of the Alliance has been trotting out every Tom, Dick, and Harry, who has had to wait to develop a parcel for his long lost son/daughter because of overcrowded schools, at Council meetings for the past several months.

It truly is a shame when people are asked to abide the law, isn't it? Especially when it's a law that is intended to protect school children from an overcrowded learning environment. Instead, Mr. Pantelides and his funders would like the Council to exempt developments of 5 or fewer homes from the school capacity test. I ask you, to the kids of current taxpayers sitting in already crowded schools, what difference does it make whether additional kids are coming from 5 house subdivisions or 20 house ones?

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