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Hanson hasn't made up his mind about County Council bid

Royce Hanson, who recently stepped down as chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board, is "thinking about" running for the County Council seat that will be vacated later this year by Mike Knapp (D-UpCounty). But he hasn't made a decision either way. Maybe a few days from now, he said Tuesday. The filing deadline is next Tuesday.

Hanson, 78, blasted local lawmakers on his way out the door earlier this month, saying that during his four years as board chairman he often ran into what he described as a "concerted effort" by politicians to diminish the planning agency's role and wrest control from the semiautonomous five-member planning board.

"I had operated under what turns out to be a false assumption: that the planning board is the principal adviser to the County Council on planning matters. It turns out that in many cases, the board is given no more credit . . . than somebody who walks in off the street," he told The Post.

Hanson's term on the board was his second tour as chairman. More than 30 years earlier, he led the effort to protect 93,000 agricultural acres in the county as a development-free zone and helped formulate the law that allows growth if there are enough schools and roads to support it.

Taking the helm again, Hanson put in place a final design for the urbanizing suburb, creating a vision for revamping Rockville Pike into an urban center and leading efforts to create a biosciences community near Gaithersburg. He also tightened environmental enforcement -- although not enough, in the eyes of many local environmentalists -- and stepped up oversight of construction violations. He launched a major rewrite of the county's complicated zoning law and tried to weather substantial budget cuts.

--Miranda Spivack

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 29, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
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I hope Mr. Hanson does run for Council. He stepped up to the plate to help the County in the wake of the Clarksburg development debacle
by becoming Planning Chair.

Thank God someone of his caliber and intellect is willing to serve.

Posted by: dbgm1234 | July 1, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the tax-increasing Democratic king-makers don't think that Rice can beat
Robin, the only candidate who lives in the agricultural preserve!

Posted by: robinficker | July 1, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Robin, Robin, Robin,

Don't you know where you live??? Last year you were in Colesville and eager to let everyone know of your roots there when you were running in District 4. Now you are in the Ag Preserve? Really where is that? I know where the Ag Reserve is -- it is the part of MoCo protected from massive development (and in District 2) -- but where is the Ag Preserve? Is it a Jelly Farm?

I hope you have stock in a moving company?

Posted by: kpgillogly | July 2, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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