Charles County Commissioners Send Draft Comp Plan Back to Planning Commission

A September 24 SoMdNews article reported that the Charles County Board of County Commissioners has voted unanimously to send the County’s draft comprehensive plan back to its planning commission with instructions to make certain changes regarding the plan’s septic tier map, agricultural policy, and water resources element .  The article indicated that the move will likely add another year to the County’s comprehensive plan update process.

Planning staff previously presented a revised version of the comprehensive plan including the tier map, agricultural policy recommendations, a land use map adjusted to match the septic tiers and updated data for the plan’s required water resources element.  …

Charles County Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Theobalds said the commissioners had four options — send the plan back and direct the planning commission to make the recommended changes, send the plan back without such instructions, bypass the planning commission and approve the plan with the proposed changes or adopt the plan as it was passed by the planning board in November 2012.

Theobalds noted that the third option “does not meet what I interpret to be the law,” as the proposed changes to the comprehensive plan were too “significant” for the commissioners to approve without first returning the plan to the planning board.

The article noted that after some debate about the legality of the third and fourth options, the commissioners voted for the first option.