Policy & Procedures

Policy
The Harford County People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board operates under the Harford County Council and by the authority of Bill No. 76-103 (as amended). It will perform its functions in line with the following policy guidelines.
  1. The People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board will always strive to serve the best interests of the citizens of Harford County, both present and future, and will give special attention to those matters involving low and moderate income families
  2. The People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board will avoid all political considerations in reviewing and considering those matters before them
  3. All meetings of the People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board will be open to the public
  4. In considering whether or not to direct the People's Counsel to enter his appearance in a zoning matter, the Citizens Advisory Board will follow an established procedure to ascertain all pertinent facts prior to rendering its decision. The Board will attempt to maintain consistency in its decisions as they relate to development in Harford County
  5. The Citizens Advisory Board may be requested to consider a matter by any citizen or citizen's group of Harford County, the County Council, or People's Counsel
  6. The People's Counsel Citizens Advisory board will act on all cases it is requested to consider
  7. Decisions upon whether or not to direct People's Counsel to enter a specific zoning matter will be based upon both the short and long range impacts on the interests of the public. Considerations shall include, but not be limited to:
    1. Conformity with the Harford County Master Land Use Plan
    2. Availability of public water and sewer lines
    3. Impact on the public school system
    4. Impact on the fire and police protections systems of the County
    5. Impact on traffic and the availability of an adequate road system
    6. The impact that a zoning matter will bear on future zoning applications in the general vicinity
    7. The need for future County services such as public water, sewerage, schools, fire and police protection, etc.
  8. The People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board will seek to effect a resolution to all cases as efficiently and economically as possible. To this end, it is the policy of the Board to apply graduated effort in the following manner:
    1. Recommend solution by administrative or legal action by appropriate officials
    2. Recommend the use of private counsel, if appropriate
    3. Direct action by the People's Counsel to enter the case and pursue it to a final decision in those cases where the People's Counsel has standing
  9. The People's Counsel Citizens Advisory Board may make recommendations to the County Council in all instances in which it learns of legal, administrative or procedural errors, omissions or practices which influence the zoning classification or reclassification of land in Harford County with the view of contributing to such greater efficiency and economy as may be deemed to be in the public interest of the citizens of Harford County
Procedures
  1. Meetings shall be formally called to order by the Chairman
  2. Minutes of past meetings shall be presented for approval by the Board. Minutes shall be brief and shall contain as a minimum the actions of the Board on matters presented to it for consideration
  3. Matters to be brought before the Board shall be considered in the order stated in the agenda unless by majority vote of the members present that the order is to be reestablished
    1. Persons bringing matters to the attention of the Board shall present their matters to the Board
    2. Persons who may have differing opinions on the matter shall then be allowed to present their position
    3. The People's Counsel may make such comments as desired
    4. The Board shall consider the matter presented to them and take such action as may be legal and necessary
  4. The Board having considered all matters on the agenda before a meeting shall adjourn