Board to prevent homelessness passes new action plan

The board fighting to end homelessness in Carroll County passed its second annual action plan, a list of strategies to help accomplish the group’s overarching mission. Similar to the 2012 to 2013 plan, the Circle of Caring Homelessness Board has a list of five objectives — promote collaborative leadership, increase access to stable and affordable housing, enlargen economic security and self-sufficiency, improve health and stability and retool the homeless crisis response system. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Frederick ranks No. 1 among safe communities in U.S.

Frederick continues to move up on a list of safe places to live, according to Farmers Insurance Group. The Frederick-Gaithersburg-Bethesda area moved from fifth to first place on the list of secure places to live among metropolitan areas with a population of 500,000 or more, according to the insurance rating. (News-Post)

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Balto. Co. businesses question stormwater fee calculations

Baltimore County business owners are criticizing the way the county has imposed its new stormwater management fee, saying officials miscalculated the amount of hard surface on their properties.The complaints came as a county official acknowledged that the technology used to measure properties cannot tell the difference between surfaces that are impervious and those that are not. (Balt. Sun)

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Running Dirty in Frederick 

Despite reports of injuries and even a recent fatality at an out-of-state “Tough Mudder” competition, a Howard County firm is betting that mud runs and obstacle races will continue to grow in popularity among those who want a serious challenge. (Daily Record)

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Police settle suit claiming racially motivated stop 

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved a $55,000 settlement with a Philadelphia man who claimed state troopers stopped him three times in two months because he is black and then pursued trumped-up charges that cost him 20 days in jail after he filed a Public Information Act request for details of the traffic stops. (Daily Record)

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Zoning code rewrite is more than just simplification

Montgomery County’s rewrite of its zoning code not only simplifies the tome, it also alters zoning policies.Montgomery is overhauling the code, primarily to make a document that many have called cumbersome more user-friendly. But while the county’s main objective might be to modernize the law by eliminating redundancies, cutting clutter and incorporating footnotes, it also is using the rewrite to fix parts of the law that are not working. (Gazette)

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Sandy Spring property owners await fate from county

Property owners along a decades-old gravel path in Sandy Spring known as “Farm Road” should have an answer from the county planning department by the end of the week on whether the department can provide addresses for their property. Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus, made up of African-American legislators in the General Assembly, tasked planners last month with determining if a collection of affidavits was enough to end years of struggle for the property owners and assign addresses to their land. (Gazette)

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Montgomery Co. hoping to add personal living quarters in new Progress Place

A proposal to add two floors of housing to a county project that will provide support services for the homeless could come at a $10 million price tag. Progress Place was planned as a three-story building, but because the facility could be built to five floors, the Montgomery County Council has tasked county officials with finding a way to add about 20 units each on the fourth and fifth floors, which is projected to cost about $5.6 million and $4.6 million, respectively, said Greg Ossont, deputy director of the county’s Department of General Services. He said the units would be targeted at low-income residents. (Gazette)

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