Howard County Council Meeting on Septic Bill Draws Large Attendance

A November 20 Baltimore Sun article recounts a recent Howard County Council Meeting on the County’s proposed growth tiers under the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation of 2012 (SB 236).  The growth tiers will limit where major developments on septic systems can be located, prompting concerns from landowners and the farming community over the potential devaluing of their land.

Farm tractors could be found circling the parking lot at the county government building in Ellicott City Monday night, Nov. 19, sporting signs reading “Devaluing farms threatens farming” and “Septic bill 236 belongs in a manure spreader.”

Local farmers and their supporters flooded the county government offices for a public hearing on a county proposal to conform with state law that would limit the development rights of farmers.  …

The majority of residents who testified were opposed to SB 236, arguing it does nothing to save the Chesapeake Bay while rushing the county to make a decision and devaluing farmland.

Marge Cissel, owner of the Kimberly Turf Farm in Woodbine along with her husband Lambert, called SB 236 “immoral” and “unconscionable.”

“I am angry with the state, not with you because you’ve been very good to farmers,” Cissel said to the County Council.

The article indicates the Council also heard testimony on several other high-profile issues, including the creation of Community Enhancement Floating Districts and anti-bullying legislation.

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