Calvert Commissioners Consider Cliff Stabilization Recommendations

A May 16 SoMdNews article reported that the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners heard the final report and recommendations from the Cliff Stabilization Advisory Committee.  The Committee was formed in 2010 to study and address challenges of county homeowners who live near the edge of eroding cliffs on the county’s shore.  The Committee included 17 recommendations to the Board including how to streamline the permitting process and improve communication.  From the article:

The committee’s recommendations — stemming from presentations from experts and feedback from the community — included simplifying the permitting process, establishing and endorsing supportive policies, providing education, coordinating with other government agencies, supporting financing options and investing in long-term planning.

One of the suggestions of the 25-member committee is a point of contact within the county who is an expert in the requirements and permitting processes for the Chesapeake Bay critical area.  …

To preserve the cliff areas from erosion, homeowners must get approval from county, state and federal agencies. The cliffs erode an average of 2 feet per year, committee member Tom Cratty said in a phone interview Wednesday. It can take two to seven years to get all the necessary approvals, and all the while, the cliffs erode, he said, so simplifying and speeding permitting to hardscape the cliffs is essential.  …

The committee also recommended the county explore having joint hearings so those applying for permits don’t have to go to multiple county hearings for the same thing and to simplify paperwork to cut down on the amount of repetition, said Ginger Haskell, chair of the advisory committee, at Tuesday’s meeting.

The article also noted that the Board decided to send the report and recommendations to county department heads for feedback.

“This is not an issue that is ever going to go away,” Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R), said, referring to cliff erosion. …

“We should be able to move forward with some of [the recommendations] fairly quickly,” Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) said Tuesday.

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