Charles County Work Group Examines County Tier Map Options

As previously reported on Conduit Street, Charles County recently formed a 6-member work group to make recommendations on the County’s comprehensive plan and create a septic tier map.  A February 12 article provided an update on the work group’s progress.

Following its third meeting last week, the work group tasked with drawing a septic tiers map for Charles County appeared to be moving away from the pro-growth plan approved by the planning commission.

The six-member panel is comprised of Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Richard Hall, Charles County Planning Commission Chairman Steve Bunker, Vice Chairman Joseph Richard, La Plata farmer David Lines, developer Doug Meeker and former Calvert County Planning Director Greg Bowen.

Following the group’s second meeting, county and state planning staff compared their own proposals in order to find areas of mutual agreement.  …

“Obviously we were pushing for more Tier IV [and] county staff was looking for more opportunities for Tier III, but I think having this as the base map is moving in the right direction,” MDP Planning Services Director Rich Josephson said.

The meeting also produced five options for reducing the impact of downzoning on local property owners — changes to the county’s existing transferable development rights program, establishment of a purchase of development rights program, allowing multiple conservation easements on the same property, continue existing county-state conservation partnerships, and tax incentives for farm and land preservation.

The article also noted that the tiers would not affect the development rights of any lot approved or at a certain stage in the approval process when the 2012 septic system legislation, which mandated the tiers, was passed.