1000 Friends Criticizes County Septic Tier Maps

A January 29 1000 Friends of Maryland press release criticizes counties that 1000 Friends feels have not adopted strong septic growth tier maps under the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (SB 163) or have inherently weak zoning.

A 2012 law intended to protect Maryland’s open space and farmland from high-polluting development on septic systems has been broken or ignored by five Maryland counties, while other counties have taken inadequate steps to comply, according to an analysis at http://friendsofmd.org by 1000 Friends of Maryland.  …

It is outrageous that some counties would adopt maps leading to unchecked, poorly planned development that only will increase congestion and pollution and destroy our open space,” said Dru Schmidt-Perkins, executive director of 1000 Friends of Maryland. “The quality of life in Maryland is at stake. Current projections show we are at risk of losing 400,000 acres of farmland to sprawl development over the next 35 years if the counties do not take this issue seriously and plan for smarter development.”

As previously reported on Conduit Street, 1000 Friends released an initial analysis of county efforts late last year and has recently updated its work.  The full county-by-county analysis is available here.  1000 Friends graded the counties according to their existing zoning and exemptions, whether the county has adopted a tier map that 1000 Friends feels is strong (even though adoption of a tier map is optional under SB 163 and those counties who do not can no longer approve major subdivisions on septic systems), and whether a county altered their definition of minor subdivision (even the counties were specifically allowed to do so under SB 163).

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