Harford Comprehensive Plan Standing in Shadow of State Septics Policy

Friday’s Baltimore Sun reports on a public hearing before the Harford County Council Thursday evening. From their coverage:

Prior to the public comment portion of the hearing, council members talked at length about the plan and asked Planning Director Pete Gutwald several questions, including whether the rural residential designation would be used in the future. Gutwald said the designation will be eliminated in favor of agricultural.

Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti also asked why potential school sites were not included in the master plan, to which Gutwald responded that the Harford County Board of Education had its own land use plan.

Gutwald also briefly explained the timeline, saying that after the master plan is adopted, the county will look at regulation measures and changes in the zoning code.

The council members, as well as Gutwald, also acknowledged that several bills before the Maryland General Assembly, if approved, would have an impact on the master plan. They recognize that changes are coming “down the hill,” Gutwald said.

At a recent MACo Legislative Committee meeting, County Executive David Craig expressed similar frustrations with proposed state septics legislation. “If the state passes some of the things in this bill, we may have to go back to the start of this whole two year process,” he observed.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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