From the office of Sen. Barry Glassman:
Senator Barry Glassman, R – 35, said this week that Governor O’Malley’s recent septic proposal would throw out forty plus years of planning by Harford County.
The proposal would give the State veto authority over any housing development of five units or more that does not connect to a government run sewer system or have its own waste-water treatment which is not even permitted in Harford County.
Harford County was one of the first suburban counties to direct concentrated housing into a designated growth area, known as the development envelope which in later years became known as “Smart Growth.” Additionally, Senator Glassman said, “When we created the Rural Plan during my time on the County Council, we set a course for one of the most successful agricultural preservation programs in the United States.”
“This proposal turns local control and authority to the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Department of the Environment,” added Glassman.
Harford County has approximately 31,053 septic systems. Most experts say that septic systems contribute 6 to 7 percentage of nitrogen into the Chesapeake Bay. Glassman reported that counties are already enforcing new storm water regulations and designing Watershed Improvement Plans to make ready for the EPA’s mandated reduction in total maximum daily loads (TMDL) of pollutants that work their way to the Bay.
Senator Glassman said, “Beyond its impact on local planning, the Bill will potentially devastate property values in Northern Harford County and further weaken the local home building industry and all the services related from nursery growers to well drillers and septic installers. I plan to unite our rural counties to fight this poorly conceived proposal and power grab,” concluded the Senator.
Phil Dirt says
Come on, Senator Glassman! When will you just face the facts that John Fitzgerald O’Malley knows better than anyone else about septic systems and how to run a rural county?
You should know how it works by now – we send money to the O’Malley-led junta and they send a small portion of it back with explicit instructions on what we are allowed to spend it on. Or, they just send the instructions to us and forward our money to the people who better understand the right (left) way of doing things.
By the way, I wonder if he read this proclamation in his fake New England accent or his fake southern accent. My money is on New England (not that I have a lot of money left after sending so much of it to Annapolis and Washington).
David A. Porter says
40 years old? Is that how outdated planning is in this county? Why I never would have known by your quaint way of looking at the world as I traverse major roads that are inadequate to carry the traffic hey bore ten years ago. I wouldn’t know that from Bel Air’s belief that they are just a population center of some 10,000 people. Is that why we have three high schools within 5 miles of each other and a Volunteer Fire Company nestled in the middle of town? The county I came from in western New York had a county seat that was in the middle of twelve farm based communities with it’s own municipal fire department – and the county only had 53,000 people to it’s credit. You want to talk rural? Harford County stopped being rural when you decided to build McMansions for people relocating from Baltimore. Familiarize yourself with the lyrics from “The Last Resort” by the Eagles: “You call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye”
If Harford County had actually stuck to its “development envelope” plan, it could honestly be considered to have “smart growth”. But a drive around the county shows no envelope and nothing smart about it.
The county does deserve credit for its ag preservation program, which is wondrously successful in selected areas. These lovely rural pockets show what would have been possible with actual county-wide planning. But sadly the county’s image is overwhelmingly one of suburban sprawl.
What we really have is what you would expect when local leaders get so much of their political money from the development industry.
@Observer – Should property owners have more of a right to develop their properties with limited government intervention?
Local government has the right to decide what kinds of uses should be allowed in what areas. Drive across northern Baltimore County to see how this can work. Property values in the rural areas are high, although the owners didn’t get the bonanza they would have had if use went unregulated.
@Observer – Government very often overreaches thereby picking winners and losers.
Every zoning decision picks winners and losers.
The only alternative would be to do away with zoning and have a laissez-faire free-for-all, with haphazard development of all kinds everywhere, making us all losers (except for the dealmakers). Sometimes government intervention is necessary.
The county could take a conservative approach in zoning matters, making decisions in the public interest instead of corporate interests. A logical but novel approach, I know. Every comprehensive rezoning in memory has featured the county council members playing Santa.
Miller Plante says
To have the best chance at Passing the New 2011 EPA Drain Field and Nitrate Level Inspections; which are happening across the Country with little as 2 weeks notice; Use the All-Natural http://www.MillerPlante.net “Septic-Helper 2000” and the Phosphate and Nitrate Free “Enza Washer Balls”. The Septic System Treatment has the natural bacteria …and enzymes that liquefy the waste in the tank AND out in the drain field.
No matter where you live, UN Agenda 21 Ch. 18 – Sustainable Development, the Clean Water Act via Presidential Directives under Clinton, Bush and Obama and New 2011 EPA mandates say that even a wet spot in your drain field or elevated Nitrate levels could require replacement of your entire system for $10,000 to $30,000 or move out of your home or business.
UN Agenda 21 – http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_18.shtml
Presidential Directive – http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/cwa/03.htm
EPA TMDL – http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/
EPA Mandated Inspections http://www.marex.uga.edu/advisory/cssmip.html
The name of the legislation, “Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2011” says it all. It is simply an agricultural preservation program cloaked as environmental legislation.
State and local agricultural preservation programs are extremely successful. These programs are voluntary and involve compensation for the farmers participation. The governor and his usual cast of characters want to take voluntary and compensation out of the mix.
If these folks were actually interested in nitrogen removal for the bay they could simply try to enact legislation to improve septic system design and installation. The science exists for these systems now.