[photo, Old Courthouse, Washington St., Towson, Maryland] Formerly, in Baltimore County, the legislative body had been the Board of County Commissioners. In November 1956, however, County voters adopted a charter form of government which provided for a county council as the legislative body, effective December 1956.

Today, the County Council consists of seven members. They are elected by councilmanic election district to four-year terms by the voters. The Council Chair is chosen by the Council annually from among its members (Code Local Government Article, sec. 1-101; County Charter, Art. II, secs. 2-1-101 through 2-1-103.

Historic Courthouse, Washington Ave., Towson, Maryland, March 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

In 1982, the Board of Appeals was authorized by charter amendment, ratified by the voters on November 2, 1982 (County Council Bill no. 53-82; County Charter, Art. VI, sec. 601).

The Board of Appeals hears and decides a variety of appeals, which arise from various decisions or orders. They include appeals related to zoning decisions, including special exceptions, variances and special hearings; Development Plans; code violations; Retirement Board; Animal Hearing Board; amusement device violations; building permits; road closings; front foot benefit assessments; sewer and water benefit charges; Critical Area regulation variance requests; towing license applications; taxi driver license applications; and false alarm citations. Appeals also are heard from executive, administrative and adjudicatory orders. In addition, the Board is authorized to hear and decide Petitions for Reclassification and Petitions for Zoning Map Corrections.

Appointed by the County Council to three-year terms, the Board consists of seven members. Each County Council member may appoint one County resident as a member.

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