A December 18 Delmarva Now.com article discusses a proposal by the Wicomico County Council to allow certain landowners to opt out of being in Growth Tier 4 under the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (the septic system legislation).
As part of that effort, the council wants to send postcards to land owners throughout the A1 zoned district except for those residents who have given up development rights, are in rural legacy programs or live within the tidal wetlands. Within those postcards, the council has discussed during a few meetings, they will ask if land-owners want to opt out of having their land within tier four.
There might be a problem with that, according to Maryland Department of Planning and Zoning Secretary Richard Hall.
“The law pretty much makes clear that agricultural zones are to be in tier four, and so to opt in or opt out is not what’s in the legislation,” Hall said. “Volunteering to follow a law is, to me, sort of like me volunteering to pick my speed limit on the road or like asking drivers if they want to opt in or out. The legislation makes it very clear areas that are zoned for agriculture or resource protections — those types of rural zoning districts — are to be in tier four.”