Former Balto. County Exec. Venetoulis criticizes 'retroactive legislation'
Former Baltimore County Executive Ted Venetoulis gave a nod of support Tuesday to legislation that would allow a controversial Catonsville townhouse development to proceed.
Venetoulis submitted a letter to the County Council stating his views on the planned unit development (“PUD”) concept. An excerpt:
“First, the concept of a ‘Planned Unit Development’ was initiated by the civic groups and citizens during my Administration as part of a growth management policy intended to encourage creative, well-planned residential, commercial or mixed-use developments. Most importantly, it was designed to enhance citizen participation in the County’s future growth. … Democracy cannot function if rules are altered and then applied backwards. The public must know that the rules in effect will be applied fairly and consistently. As a matter of good government, retroactive legislation is not simply poor public policy, it is unfair, unwise and dangerous.”
My colleague Arthur Hirsch (@hirsch18) wrote an article a few weeks ago exploring problems with PUDs and the Thistle Landing controversy. The County Council is expected to put the project back on track next week.