May. 10, 2012
The Board of Garrett County Commissioners has announced important deadline dates and explained some provisions of a new Maryland law, effective July 1, that will affect land development with on-site sewage disposal or septic systems throughout the state, including Garrett County.
“We want to make sure the public is aware of this Maryland legislation,” said board chairman James Raley during the commissioners’ public meeting last Tuesday with Health Officer Rodney Glotfelty and Dof the Garrett County Department of Planning and Land Development John Nelson.
The new statewide law, called the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, was recently passed by the Maryland General Assembly and was based on recommendations from the governor’s Task Force on Sustainable Growth and Wastewater Disposal, which had been charged with finding ways to address the impact of development with septic systems. State officials maintain that septic systems leach harmful nitrogen loads into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
To comply with the new law and take advantage of its “grandfathering” provisions, the commissioners recommend that county property owners take note of several important deadline dates specified in the law if they plan to develop major subdivisions with seven lots or more.
Those deadline dates are as follows:
• July 1, 2012, for persons to apply for percolation tests on properties planned for subdivisions. After that day, major subdivisions of greater than seven lots may not be approved for utilizing on-site sewage disposal systems,
• Oct. 1, 2012, to submit preliminary plans for subdivisions with greater than seven lots utilizing on-site sewage disposal systems to Garrett County Department of Planning and Land Development.
• Oct. 1, 2016, to have subdivision preliminary plan approval from Garrett County Planning Commission for major subdivisions utilizing on-site sewage disposal systems.
The new law amends both Maryland Health and Land Planning statutes.
“If property owners make application by July 1, 2012, we stand ready to do the necessary soil and percolation tests to meet the required plat approval deadlines,” Glotfelty said. “The important thing is to have the application to our office (Garrett County Health Department) for these large subdivisions prior to the July 1, 2012, deadline.”
For more information or to schedule percolation tests, persons can call the Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 301-334-7760.
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