Signature Collectors 1. Have Petitions, a copy of CB-59, and several Fliers w/signature examples on back side in your possession. Also have some decent black fine-point pens. 2. Before collecting signatures on a Petition, check the box at top saying “has not” been paid and sign and date the form. 3. Ask each potential signer if they are registered to vote in Howard County. If the person is not sure, have them sign. 4. Show each signer the example signatures if needed. 5. Signer must PRINT name in first column and SIGN identically in right column. The name MUST include a Given Name, All Initials and the Last Name (Surname). No Nicknames (e.g. no Peggys, no Bobs). Ask them to sign as on Driver’s License if possible. 6. If they do not want to put their birth date on the Petition then BEG them; if they do not do it their signature will be invalid. You can tell them it is public record and we already have it, but THEY must fill it in. The one thing we can help them fill in is the date if asked, but not recommended. Full date of signing must be entered; no Ditto marks. 7. Your information block at bottom of Petition may be completed anytime, but you must sign at bottom after signatures collected. 8. If a potential signer wants some additional information then respond if the answer is simple and short. If the potential signer wants more detailed information then give them a copy of the flier with contact information on the back. 9. Do NOT try to debate with a potential signer or to try to change their mind. 10. Do NOT spend too much time with any one potential signer. 11. It is better to canvass in areas open to the public such as store parking lots because they have far higher pedestrian traffic and you do not need to walk door to door and then wait to see if someone comes to the door. Also potential signers out doing errands will not want to strike up long conversations. Aim for high volume areas. 12. You have a right to be in a public place (e.g. post office). Do not be intimidated. If you are on private property or parking lots they do have the right to ask you to leave. However there is no shortage of store parking lots. 13. Most importantly – we need signatures and we also need more volunteers. Please try to recruit as you are collecting signatures. If you find a volunteer please get their name, phone, and email and snail mail addresses and then forward that information to Russ Swatek and/or be that volunteer’s point of contact. 14.Please turn in completed Petitions at least weekly. Thanks. WHY SIGN THE PETITION? Reasons for a Referendum on Council Bill 59 CB 59, which was written by the developer General Growth Properties (GGP), will quadruple the number of residences in Downtown Columbia, greatly increasing the value of GGP's Downtown land. The bill's plan is intended to revitalize Downtown, a desirable goal. However, the plan is unworkable because the amount of development would impose a crushing burden on the taxpayer and on Downtown roads and interchanges. The referendum would cause the developer to renegotiate the size of the planned development. This is important for the following reasons: TAX INCREASES: The current bill imposes massive costs on us, the Howard County taxpayers, rather than on the developer who profits from the plan. These costs amount to hundreds of millions of dollars for new facilities: parking garages to service the developer’s new stores interchanges with Route 29 that will be necessary due to increased traffic widening of roads leading to the developer’s stores sewer/water lines TRAFFIC CONGESTION: According to a traffic study commissioned by the county, the GGP plan will generate three times as much traffic as the road system can accommodate. As a result, the higher density will greatly increase traffic in Downtown Columbia and on Routes 29 and 175, approximating that of Rockville Pike. At rush hour, the wait time at red lights will double or triple and interchanges may be dangerously congested. Even now, three intersections and ramps are over capacity. ESTHETICS: 20-story buildings authorized. Lake Kittamaqundi will disappear behind tall buildings. ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: The wastewater treatment plant will eventually fail to handle the load, according to the Department of Public Works. Expanding it may not be possible. Columbia is exempted from the State Forest Conservation Act. PETITION CONTENTS: The Petition targets only two aspects of CB-59. Although there are other problematic sections of CB-58 (General Plan Amendment – 83 pages) and CB-59 (Zoning Regulation Amendment – 77 pages), the county and state regulations governing referenda make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to successfully take entire legislation of this size to Referendum. The definition defined in Section 103.58 states that the General Plan (CB-58) provides “development rights” to the developer. It should only be enforceable as to requirements and restrictions on the developer and not grant development rights. The Referendum is only targeting the excessive residential allowances granted in CB-59. That is what GGP really wants and what boosts the value of their land. Knocking out the residential allowances will be sufficient to bring GGP back to the negotiating table. Whether it is GGP or another company at that time, they will be stronger than the current GGP. Also the economy will probably be stronger. This should enable the County officials to obtain a better deal for the County that does not burden the County taxpayer.