From Friends of Harford:
Friends of Harford believes Bill 16-02 Zoning – NRD Natural Resource District is a bad and destructive bill. It says nontidal wetlands less than 40,000 square feet will no longer be considered Natural Resource Districts, a designation intended to protect them from being
disturbed by development. Bill 16-02 supports developers destroying the environment while eliminating the public’s right to know about or oppose such destruction.
The zoning code already allows developers to ask for a variance giving them permission to destroy springs and other wetlands on a case-by-case basis. A variance requires public hearings so the people most impacted can speak. Such variances have been requested in the past and were approved after the public had a chance to express any concerns. We believe the only purpose of this bill is to enable developers to destroy wetlands without being bothered by public exposure.
This bill continues chipping away protections for Natural Resource Districts (NRDs). Harford already permits (allows) the following in NRDs:
– Utility transmission facilities (water, sewer, power, natural gas and communications lines, sewage and water pumping stations)
– Road and driveway crossings
– Stormwater management facilities (including huge stormwater “ponds”)
– Commercial timber operations
Bill 16-02 will allow the destruction of any wetlands, natural springs, etc. that the developer’s staff decides is smaller than 40,000 square feet – almost an acre.
Natural Resource Districts are supposed to be protected from disturbance. Bill 16-02 puts another nail in the NRD’s coffin by automatically approving more environmental destruction and eliminating the public’s right to demand corrective work-arounds when destruction is unacceptable.
We ask you to join us in opposing this bill. If there happens to be a good reason to destroy springs or other wetlands on a particular property, then let the argument be raised in public and decided as part of the variance process.
Action. If you oppose Bill 16-02, please tell the County Council to vote it down. Here’s how:
– Testify at the public hearing Tuesday, February 16, 6:30pm in the Council chambers (3 minute limit, must sign up to speak before 6:30 by emailing the Council at Council@HarfordCountyCouncil.com; or by calling the Council office at (410) 638-3343.
– Email all Council members at once firstname.lastname@example.org
– Call individual Council members Phone: (410) 638-3343/Fax: (410) 893-4972