CBF Argues That 2012 Septic System Legislation Intended to Strengthen Rural Counties

In a January 7 Center Maryland  opinion piece, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Lands Program Director Lee Epstein argues that recently enacted land use regulations, such as the 2012 septic system legislation,  are designed to strengthen rural counties and that such actions are not unconstitutional to landowners.  Mr. Epstein also urges counties to work with the septic system legislation.

First, there is no war on rural Maryland other than the development onslaught that threatens to gobble it all up once the economy improves just a bit more. The state of Maryland simply is trying to better manage the development of the rural landscape while there’s still some left to manage. That benefits everyone, folks who live there now, and folks who want to move in.  …

There are new regulatory demands of these rural counties, but these requirements are intended to strengthen, not weaken, the counties.  …

Contrary to the belief of some, no landowner has the “right” to do with his or her land whatever he or she pleases.  Our rights and our responsibilities as landowners are shared, and if what we wish to do harms our neighbor, such actions may be disallowed.  …

The tier system was created after long study to resolve a growing problem.  Instead of fighting it, counties can become constructive partners in making it as fair as possible—indeed, in making it work.

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