December 20, 2012
December 6, 2012
Deadline Fast Approaching for Comprehensive Rezoning ProposalsThe Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) is accepting proposals for zoning map and regulation amendments through December 14, 2012. Any property owner may request a zoning map change on their property. For example, if a property is zoned for residential use, but the owner of that property wants the property zoned for business use, a request may be submitted. Requests for zoning regulation changes, also known as text changes, may be made by anyone. Until December 14, 2012, proposals for both types of zoning changes should be made via the official request forms, which can be found on the County’s website (www.howardcountymd.gov/
The 2012 Comprehensive Rezoning effort will include the following steps:
1. DPZ accepts requests for zoning map and regulation changes2. DPZ compiles and evaluates all requests3. DPZ submits recommended changes to Planning Board and posts all properties4. Planning Board conducts a public hearing on recommendations5. Planning Board submits recommended actions to the Administration and County Council6. The Administration’s revised proposal is introduced as legislation to the County Council for its consideration7. County Council holds a public hearing8. County Council votes on recommendationsFor general information and questions about the comprehensive rezoning process, residents may submit specific inquiries via email at email@example.com and/or contact the County’s information line at 410-313-0500.
November 29, 2012
November 19, 2012
If you know a suitable candidate, have them email Katherine Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume, pay requirements and references.
October 31, 2012
October 16, 2012
October 15, 2012
October 11, 2012
Howard County’s Department of Planning and Zoning announced today that it will launch
the countywide rezoning process and will be accepting proposals for zoning map and regulation
amendments between October 15 and December 14, 2012. For more information, see the announcement sent out by the county today (.pdf).
October 8, 2012
|By Dave Minogue (originally posted to Flickr as P4269130.JPG) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
According to the Washington Post, there are three conditions set forth by the corkage law:
- Underage or intoxicated persons should not be served, even their own wine;
- A wine already on the restaurant’s list may not be brought in;
- Restaurants must obtain a permit from their local liquor board.
In Howard County, the Board of License Commissioners has issued a list of requirements pertaining to corkage practices. Included are the notations that patrons must order a meal and that bottles that are unfinished must be either poured out or recorked.
October 4, 2012
September 24, 2012
September 13, 2012
September 10, 2012
The short answer to this question is that if your business has a physical presence in a state, then you must collect local and state sales tax for that location. Examples of physical presences are an actual store, office, or warehouse. If your business does not have a physical presence in a state, then you do not have to collect sales tax for that state.
This rule is based on Quill v. North Dakota, a Supreme Court case that said mail-order businesses cannot be required to collect sales tax in a state unless the business has a physical presence there, as the burden on the sellers to comply with all state and local tax jurisdictions is too complex to manage and would strain interstate commerce. 504 US 298 (1992).
That being said, tax laws change all the time. If you are a small business owner looking to establish an online storefront, you should consult with your state's revenue agency to determine if you do have what is considered a physical presence. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration is a great resource for answering questions about online payment services and sales.
September 7, 2012
September 3, 2012
August 27, 2012
Fortunately, in 2009, Maryland enacted a 'pet trust' law to allow pet owners a formal mechanism to provide for their pets after the owner's incapacitation or death. The trust can be created for the benefit of an animal alive during the lifetime of the settlor. The trust terminates with the death of the animal (or the death of the last remaining animal if the trust provides for multiple pets). The trust may be enforced by a person appointed by the trust or by the court if the trust does not appoint someone. Further, a person with an interest in the welfare of the animal can petition the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust. In the trust, settlor's can provide express instruction for distribution of trust funds after the passing of their pet. If the funds of the trust are not used in full, the remaining funds can be distributed to the settlor or the settlor's successors. MD Estates & Trust Section 14-112.
Generally, a pet trust consists of a trustee and a caregiver. The caregiver provides the daily care for the pet, while the trustee oversees the handling of the trust to ensure the caregiver's compliance with the terms of the trust. Pet trusts allow the pet owner to have control over the care of their pet. Rather than rely on the goodwill of those tasked with caring for an orphaned pet, the trust can designate the standard of care for the pet. Trusts can direct veterinary care, diet, boarding, and the general standard of living to be maintained for the benefit of the pet. Additionally, the trust can provide compensation to the trustee and the caregiver.
August 23, 2012
August 20, 2012
July 4, 2012
June 6, 2012
May 14, 2012
The case has implications for dog owners, business owners, and residential and commercial landlords. Dog owners may find themselves subject to additional lease terms if they possess lease terms, or may find themselves unable to obtain a lease while owning a pit bull. Some animal advocates have postulated that the ruling will lead to record numbers of bully breed dogs being surrendered to animal shelters, which in turn will be unable to adopt out the dogs because of stigma associated with the breeds. Additionally, concern has been raised that dogs of suspect breed - as there are many breeds which are confused with pit bulls - may be unfairly judged and surrendered.
Tracey v. Solesky placed strict liability on landlords as well as pit bull owners. Landlords have the ability to restrict what breeds of dogs are present on their property; as such, the court has held that landlords have a burden to determine what breed of dog is on their property. Landlords may want to pursue stringent intake for pet owners, including training employees to recognize pit bulls. Additionally, landlords who choose to allow pit bulls on their property may want to request additional insurance from tenants.
One group that the opinion neglects to consider is the small business owner who holds a commercial lease. Veterinarians, dog groomers, pet food stores, and other businesses that cater to dog owners and welcome dogs onto their property could be held to strict liability for the presence of pit bulls on their property. Small business owners have less liberty to limit who enters their business, but could possibly be held responsible for attacks that occur during ingress and egress from their property. Negotiation of commercial leases for these businesses may include provisions regarding pit bull liability.
May 8, 2012
May 2, 2012
April 26, 2012
April 11, 2012
March 19, 2012
"The four council members who voted for the bill were Democrats Mary Kay Sigaty, Jen Terrasa, Calvin Ball (Council Chair) and Courtney Watson. Greg Fox, a Republican from Western Howard County, voted against the measure saying that the federal and state governments should pass a single law that clarifies the definition of public accommodations. The county law, as written, is vague on the definition."Maryland Senate Bill 212 is designed to provide a comprehensive law protecting gender identity throughout Maryland. The bill prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment and by specified licensed or regulated persons. The bill is not without it's opponents, and at a recent committee hearing, Metro Weekly reported that number of legislators left the room.
Earlier this month, Metro Weekly wrote about the impetus for the Maryland bill:
"Some advocates cited the case of Chrissy Lee Polis, a transgender woman who was savagely beaten after using a restroom in a Baltimore-area McDonald's in Rosedale, Md. in April 2011, as evidence of hostility facing transgender women. Polis's attack was recorded on a cell phone camera and later posted on the Internet, where she was subjected to verbal attacks from online viewers, including the employee who posted the video."
March 12, 2012
March 7, 2012
On February 28, 2012, the US House of Representatives passed a bill seeking to limit the Kelo ruling. The bill, H.R. 1433 (known as the Private Property Rights Protection Act) is co-sponsored by James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, and Maxine Waters, D-California. According to the Washington Post, the
"legislation would withhold for two years all federal development aid to states or locales that take private property for economic development. It also bars the federal government from using eminent domain for economic development purposes and gives private property owners the right to take legal action if provisions of the legislation are violated."The Private Property Rights Protection Act was opposed by John Conyers, D-Michigan, who was concerned that the bill exempted the Keystone XL pipeline from the eminent domain restrictions. The Keystone XL pipeline is a project by a Canadian company which proposes to build a gas pipeline from Canada to Texas. Additionally, Rep. Conyers noted that over 40 states have already enacted legislation in response to Kelo.
It is interesting to note that the property in question in Kelo was taken initially for Pfizer to develop a new location. In 2009, Pfizer abandoned the plans. For more information, see this CBS news article from November, 2009.