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BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS June 13, 2017 Agenda

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Terry L. Baker, President Jeffrey A. Cline, Vice President John F. Barr Wayne K. Keefer LeRoy E. Myers, Jr. 100 West Washington Street, Suite 1101 Hagerstown, MD P: F:
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Terry L. Baker, President Jeffrey A. Cline, Vice President John F. Barr Wayne K. Keefer LeRoy E. Myers, Jr. 100 West Washington Street, Suite 1101 Hagerstown, MD P: F: BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS June 13, 2017 Agenda 10:00 A.M. INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE CALL TO ORDER, President Terry L. Baker APPROVAL OF MINUTES JUNE 6, :05 A.M. COMMISSIONERS REPORTS AND COMMENTS 10:10 A.M. REPORTS FROM COUNTY STAFF 10:15 A.M. CITIZENS PARTICIPATION 10:20 A.M MD AGRICULTURAL LAND PRESERVATION (MALPF) FINAL CERTIFICATION REPORT APPROVAL Eric Seifarth 10:30 A.M. BID AWARD (PUR-1352) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND RELATED ELECTION TECHNICAL SERVICES FOR THE WASHINGTON COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS Karen Luther, Purchasing; Barry Jackson and Bruce Field, Board Of Elections 10:35 A.M. CONTRACT AWARD (PUR-1345) LANDFILL MONITORING SERVICES Karen Luther and Dave Mason 10:40 A.M. FY2018 ANNUAL PROGRAM OPEN SPACE PROGRAM Jim Sterling 10:45 A.M PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE RENEWALS Tracy McCammon and Patrick Hancock of AON Risk Solutions 10:50 A.M. BID AWARD (PUR-1349) GROUNDS MAINTENANCE FOR VARIOUS COUNTY DEPARTMENTS Rick Curry, Purchasing and John Easterday, Black Rock Golf Course 10:55 A.M. CONVEYANCE OF REAL PROPERTY TO CASCADE TOWN CENTRE DEVELOPMENT, LLC. Susan Small Individuals requiring special accommodations are requested to contact the Office of the County Commissioners, Voice/TDD, to make arrangements. 11:00 A.M. CLOSED SESSION (To discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom this public body has jurisdiction; or any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals; to consider a matter that concerns a proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; to consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation; and to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter.) 11:45 A.M. ADJOURNMENT Individuals requiring special accommodations are requested to contact the Office of the County Commissioners, Voice/TDD, to make arrangements. Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland Agenda Report Form Open Session Item SUBJECT: 2017 Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) Final Certification Report Approval PRESENTATION DATE: June 13, 2017 PRESENTATION BY: Eric Seifarth, Rural Preservation Administrator, Dept. of Planning & Zoning RECOMMENDED MOTION: Approve the enclosed Final Certification Report (checklist) of the Washington County Agricultural Land Preservation Program to present to the Maryland Departments of Planning (MDP) and Agriculture (MDA) for approval. REPORT-IN-BRIEF: Every 3 years the Land Preservation staff is required to prepare and submit a Certification Report so as to retain an additional 42% (total 75% retention) of state agricultural transfer taxes. Agricultural Land Preservation Staff will submit the certification report to MDP and MDA after approval by the Board of County Commissioners. The Certification Report is based on questions developed at the State level to assess the County s Agricultural Land Preservation Program and consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. While the Certification Report addresses all the County agricultural land preservation programs, Washington County has traditionally used 100% of the transfer tax funds for the 60/40 match component of MALPP. A sample under FISCAL IMPACT shows the multiplying effect of the certification on the 60/40 match mechanism. DISCUSSION: The County s Final Certification Report addresses several main items from the interim certification report which the State feels need to be clarified. These items are located on page 8 item IV.D.3.b.(County easement acquisition programs), page 9 item IV.E (inventory), page 9 item IV.G.1 (program development strategy) and page 10 item IV.G.3 (coordination with neighboring counties). The report discusses our plans to achieve a goal of 50,000 acres in permanent preservation. MDA and MDP understand that factors affecting our strategy will change over time and we will have on-going opportunity to update and modify our land preservation plans. FISCAL IMPACT: The certification process allows the County to retain an additional 42% of State Agricultural Transfer Tax. While the tax amount collected varies, in years of high farmland to residential use conversion the additional 42% has yielded several hundred thousand dollars. With the amount of transfer tax revenue decreasing in the past several years, it is important that we receive as much funding as possible to better serve our land preservation needs. Example: Collection of tax w/o certification - $200,000 x 33% = $66,000 then leveraged through 60/40 match = $165,000. With certification - $200,000 x 75% = $ 150,000 then leveraged = $375,000. CONCURRENCES: The Agriculture Land Preservation Advisory Board has approved the report. ALTERNATIVES: Decline certification and not receive the 42% additional funds from agricultural transfer tax. ATTACHMENTS: Final Certification Report AUDIO/VISUAL NEEDS: N/A Based on COMAR Title 34 Department of Planning, Subtitle.03 Land Use, Chapter.03 Certification of County Agricultural Land Preservation Programs DATE: May, 2017 COUNTY: WASHINGTON DATE OF TRANSMITTAL: CHECKLIST FOR CERTIFIED COUNTIES' ANNUAL REPORTS 1 - FY 14,15,16 I. The county agricultural preservation advisory board, or the county office of planning or county planning commission, as designated by the county, and the governing body of the county: II. A. Have approved the application for (re)certification of the county program (.05(A)(2)). Letters were signed by Financial Reporting. Both annual reports shall provide a financial report that includes: A. Estimated revenues and expenditures for the county's agricultural land transfer tax account for fiscal years that have transpired in their entirety during the certification period (.10(B)(1)(a)); and Agricultural Land Transfer Tax in Washington County Ag Land Transfer Remitted to State Surcharge Tax Collected (Incl. Surcharge) Retained FY 2014 $183,764 $45,860 $91,801 $137,823 FY 2015 $35,266 $8,389 $17,205 $26,450 FY 2016 $164,742 $40,628 $81,814 $123,556 TOTAL $383,772 $94,877 $190,819 $287,830 B. Revenue sources for, and estimated expenditures of, any other funds used to purchase development rights, provide financial enhancements to purchases of development rights, or administer the county's agricultural preservation program (.10(B)(1)(b)). Expenditure of Other County Funds FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 Installment Payments $563,735 $548,203 $366,726 Tax Credits on Easement Properties $146,268 $157,776 $161,276 TOTAL $710,003 $705,979 $528,002 1 Note: The first report is due on October 1 following the completion of the first full fiscal year of the certification period, except as extended by MDP for reasonable cause. The second report is due on October 1 following completion of the second full fiscal year of the certification period, except as extended by MDP of reasonable cause. Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 2 of 11 C. Information necessary for MDP and MALPF to determine if the county is meeting its commitment of qualifying expenditures in an amount at least equal to the additional funds available to the county as a result of certification (a financial reporting form for this purpose is available from MDP) (05(D);.10(B)(2)). As the figures above show, the county is more than meeting its commitment for qualifying expenditures. D. All expenditures reported shall be identified as qualifying or non-qualifying expenditures (.10(B)(3)). E. Financial reports shall be verified and signed by the county's chief financial officer or by an independent auditor (.10(B)(4)). Financial reports for FYs 2014, 2015, and 2016 were signed by SB & Company, LLC. III. In addition to the financial report above, the FIRST and SECOND annual report of each certification period shall include: Attachment C A. An inventory of properties which have been permanently preserved by an agricultural land preservation easement during the reporting period (.10(C)(2)). B. The total number of easements purchased and acreage preserved through the county and State agricultural land preservation easement purchase programs during the reporting period (.10(C)(3)). Washington County preserved 1,548 acres for the three fiscal years FY 2014-FY Washington County Land Preserved by Easement FY FY MALPF Rural Legacy MET CREP IPP Total IV. C. An update on progress made to reach the milestones established in the county's most recent program development strategy (.10(C)(4)). Provided elsewhere in checklist. In addition to the financial report and the information required in the first annual report, above, the SECOND annual report of each certification period shall include: A. A map of all agricultural lands preserved in the county, including those preserved both during and before the certification period, showing those properties in relation to priority preservation areas (.10(D)(2)). Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 3 of 11 B. A description of the programs the county has established to encourage participation of farmers in agricultural land preservation efforts, including purchase of development rights or financial enhancements related to the purchase of development rights, outside of MALPF (.05(B)); Washington County uses a full array of easement programs: MALPF, MET, Rural Legacy, MET, local PDRs with an IPP option, CREP, and other federal programs such as transportation scenic easements. C. An evaluation of the county's agricultural land preservation program, including the strengths and shortcomings in each of the following areas (.05(E);.05(E)(1)): 1. The ability of the county's zoning and other land use management tools to do the following in the county's priority preservation area (.05(E)(1)(a)): a. Limit the amount and geographic distribution of subdivision and development in accordance with established agricultural land preservation goals (.05(E)(1)(a)(i)); Washington County reports the following: While in the past Washington County had a liberal lot allowance of 1/5 in the Agricultural Zoning, the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act allows a maximum of only 7 subdivision rights per parcel. 16,300 subdivision rights were lost leaving only 18,400 rights available in the rural areas. b. Stabilize the land base (.05(E)(1)(a)(ii)); and See above IV.C.1.a. In addition, the acreage subject to agricultural land transfer tax, depicted on the graph below, shows a steep decline after the 2005 downzoning, even before the economic downturn that started in FY (In 2005 Washington County made its zoning significantly more protective by changing it from 1:1 (Agriculture) or 1:3 (Conservation) to the following: 1:5 (+3 lots) Agricultural zone, 1:20 (+ 3 lots) Environmental Conservation zone, 1:30 (+ 3 lots) Preservation (Rural Legacy) zone. Plus 2 more lots at 1:50. The chart below shows that since 1990, the total acreage subject to agricultural land transfer tax in Washington County is notably higher than in the average Maryland County. However, just four years of excessive development in Washington County explain all the difference. In fact, if you exclude the years 1990, 1995, and 2004, the total acreage of farmland converted in Washington County (10,592) would be lower than that for the average Maryland County (10,624) Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 4 of 11 c. Provide time for agricultural land preservation easement acquisition to achieve State and local preservation goals before the agricultural land resource is excessively compromised by development (.05(E)(1)(a)(iii)). For the five-year period of FYs , Washington County preserved 2,258 acres while 474 were subject to Agricultural Land Transfer Tax. The county reports that Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 5 of 11 [s]ince the rate of conversion had slowed so significantly from past 5 year periods and the rate of protection will continue to increase with State funds being restored, it appears very likely that our permanent easement efforts will allow us to keep pace. 2. The ability of combined State, local, and other agricultural land preservation easement acquisition programs to permanently preserve lands in the county's priority preservation area at a rate sufficient to achieve State and local preservation goals (.05(E)(1)(b)). Washington County reports that of the 859 acres permanently preserved in FY 2016, all was in the PPA. The five-year figure for acres subject to agricultural land transfer tax in the whole county was just 474, so easements are being acquired in the PPA at a rate sufficient to achieve State and local preservation goals. 3. The degree to which county land use and other ordinances and regulations restrict or otherwise interfere with the conduct of normal agricultural activities in the priority preservation area (.05(E)(1)(c)). The county s right-to-farm ordinance protects farmers by allowing any normal farm activity. 4. The ability of county zoning, subdivision, and development regulations and policies to minimize the degree to which development in the priority preservation area interferes with normal agricultural activities (05.(E)(1)(d)). As mentioned in IV.C.1.a above, the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act has countered the effects of the liberal 1:5 agricultural zoning. Meanwhile, Environ- Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 6 of 11 mental Conservation zoning of 1:20 and Preservation zoning of 1:30 further limit development in rural areas, including PPAs. 5. The ability of county and other farming assistance programs to support profitable agriculture and forestry activities in the priority preservation area (05.(E)(1)(e)). The recertification application reports that Washington County has a complete package of farmer assistance programs, including Soil Conservation, Farm Services Agency, Extension Service, Ag Marketing specialist, as well as an active farmland preservation program. In addition, we have encouraged farm support services such as feed and equipment dealers to maintain a strong presence in the County. 6. Statistics and other factual information necessary to evaluate the county's agricultural land preservation program, such as: a. A description of the amount of subdivision and development allowed on land within zoning districts comprising the priority preservation area, including base density and additional lots allowed for clustering, density transfers between parcels, and any other provisions affecting lot yields (.05(E)(2)(a)); See IV.C.1.4, above. As mentioned above, for the 5 years of FY , 474 acres were subject to agricultural land transfer tax countywide. Washington County reports that from 1/1/2011 to 12/31/2015 Washington County lost only 231 acres of converted farmland in the entire rural area. b. The numbers and locations of residential parcels and acres subdivided and developed within the priority preservation area during the most recent 5-year period (.05(E)(2)(b)); c. The total acreage and locations of farms and parcels permanently preserved through agricultural land preservation easements recorded in the land records of the county during the most recent 5-year period (.05(E)(2)(c)); Program totals were provided. d. The constraints and restrictions placed by county ordinances and regulations on normal agricultural activities, such as minimum setbacks from property boundaries (.05(E)(2)(d)); and Washington County reports that there are no restrictions placed on normal agricultural activities. e. The constraints and restrictions placed by county ordinances and regulations on non-agricultural development activities, in order to minimize conflicts with normal agricultural activities within the priority preservation area (.05)(E)(2)(e)). Setbacks requiring a 50 feet buffer. Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 7 of 11 D. A program development strategy which: 1. Describes the way in which the goals of the program will be accomplished in the county's priority preservation area, including the county's strategy to protect land from development through zoning, preserve the desired amount of land with permanent easements, and maintain a rural environment capable of supporting normal agricultural and forestry activities (.05(F)(1)). While Washington County s overall goal is to protect 50,000 acres in permanent preservation in the county as a whole, the PPA properties receive bonus points in the priority rankings of their easement programs. In addition, the county s easement priority ranking system gives about 25% of the total points available for properties which are contiguous to other easements. Since Washington s PPA was selected in part because of close proximity to permanently protected land, the chances are higher for protection in those areas. The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act has dramatically curtailed potential lot rights in most rural areas. As mentioned previously, between 1/1/2011 and 12/31/2015 only 231 acres of farmland were converted. Washington County expects that trend to continue; in fact, in several cases subdivided lots have been added back to farms being preserved with easements. The county program administrator, Eric Seithforth, reports, We have often heard people in the rural area complain recently about not being able to sell lots they have spent considerable money on to subdivide. We have seen a shift from using rural areas as temporary farmland until development occurs. There is a much stronger sense of permanence now in our rural areas. Finally, with the increased state funding levels and the county plan to use a portion of Installment Payment Program funds to gain an additional $600,000 of MALPP 60/40 match money each cycle, Washington County reports that it is on pace to achieve our goal of 50,000 acres in permanent preservation in about 20 more years. 2. Includes a schedule of activities the county will undertake to overcome shortcomings in the ability of county tools identified in the evaluation (.05)(F)(3)). With the limited number of lot rights now available in the rural area, the increasing pace of preservation, and the rate of land preserved compared to land developed, Washington County is on track to reach its goal of 50,000 acres of land permanently preserved by easement. With state funding being increased in the next few years and, hopeful, a return to normal levels of land preservation funding, the county does not see obstacles to achieving its goals. Landowner interest remains very strong for all programs and local support is high. [MDP data show about 29,400 acres under easements of all types in Washington County.] 3. Includes a schedule of milestones according to which the county hopes to overcome the identified shortcomings, including but not limited to changes the county intends to make or pursue in: Washington County Recertification Application Checklist December 12, 2016 Page 8 of 11 a. The county comprehensive plan, zoning, land use management tools, and related regulations and procedures (.05(F)(4)(a)); The comprehensive plan is currently being updated and should be completed in The county does not expect to change its rural zoning because of the reduction of lots resulting from the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act. b. County easement acquisition programs (.05(F)(4)(b)); As mentioned in IV.D.2 above, the county reports that easement programs have seen increased interest, with funding being restored over the next 10 years at t
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