MACo Opposes Proposed Construction Prohibitions in Rural Legacy Areas

MACo sought an unfavorable ruling to House Bill 1241 on March 23 before the House Economic Matters Committee.   The bill, sponsored by  Delegate Dana Stein, would prohibit a variety of uses in a Rural Legacy Area if they exceed 5 acres, including a shopping center, an electric power plant or substation, or any other nonagricultural use.  At the hearing, the sponsor offered amendments removing the nonagricultural use provision from the bill.

MACo Associate Director Les Knapp argued that the bill is overly broad and would intrude on local land use authority to manage Rural Legacy Areas.  He stated that the bill was targeted at a particular substation project in Baltimore County and that the issue should be resolved locally rather than with a bill that will have a Statewide impact.  He also noted that there are processes in place, both with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and local governments, to govern the siting of power plants and substations.

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