Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance

Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance

Natural resources, development, schools, traffic
Position In Brief: 

Action to Support:

  • An Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) is a tool available to local government to use as a means of ensuring adequate public facilities are available concurrent with new development.
  •  The League believes that municipalities should have APFO’s compatible with the county’s and that they should be encouraged to adopt compatible ordinances.
  • The League believes that business development should be encouraged by means other than reducing requirements or granting exemptions (other than the existing school-related exemption) from the APFO standards for business development.
Position History: 

Adopted 1995

Statements of Position:

  1. An Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) is one of several growth management tools available to local governments that should be used to meet their responsibility to ensure that adequate public facilities and services are available concurrent with new development.

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the APFO, municipalities should be encouraged to adopt APFO’s that are compatible with the County’s.         

  1. An APFO should:
    1. Be reviewed and updated every five years after public hearings;
    2. Be considered a working document and be compared annually with the county’s Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) to ensure that growth and public facilities are compatible, and an annual report of all APFO actions should be prepared;
    3. Focus on essential public services first, such as schools, roads, water and sewer. However, recognizing that the county is experiencing rapid growth, consideration should be given to adding public transportation, including school transportation, and fire stations to the APFO; and
    4. Evaluate the cumulative impact of approved developments when testing new development proposals.
  2. Schools are an important component of the APFO and the current criteria for adequacy should be re-evaluated in the following ways:
    1. Consideration should be given to strengthening the school adequacy to reflect 100% capacity for county planning purposes, rather than relying on the higher state funding standards.
    2. Local pupil yield for each school affected by a proposed development, as well as countywide averages currently available should be used.
    3. As state above, the cumulative impact of approved developments should be considered when evaluating new development proposals.
  3. The current criteria for traffic impact statements should be strengthened to include cumulative impact and safety concerns.
League to which this content belongs: 
Frederick County