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Posted on: April 28, 2017

Calvert County Board of County Commissioners Adopts Growth Tier Map

calvert cornucopia.png
The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Tuesday adopted a Growth Tier Map to identify areas where new major and minor residential subdivisions may occur and the type of sewage disposal systems to serve them. The Growth Tier Map puts Calvert County in compliance with Maryland’s Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012.

“By adopting a Growth Tier Map, we hope citizens discover that Calvert County is rural and will remain rural for years to come,” said BOCC President Tom Hejl.  “There is a lot of misconception about the possibility of over-developing Calvert County and the fact is, we can’t, nor do we want to. I hope residents take the time to look at this map and discover that we will maintain our rural character.”

In 2012, the state of Maryland adopted the act to limit creation of new residential subdivisions served by private septic systems. The act, also known as the “Septics Law,” was adopted to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits on Chesapeake Bay nutrient and sediment pollution. Under the act, local governments such as Calvert County were prohibited from approving major residential subdivisions outside areas served by public sewerage systems until adopting the growth tiers. In Calvert County major subdivisions are those with eight or more lots.

Four growth tiers are established:
• Tier I: Areas already served by public sewerage systems;
• Tier II: Areas proposed to be served by public sewerage systems or mapped as locally designated growth areas;
• Tier III: Areas planned and zoned for large lot or rural development. They are not planned for sewerage service and are not dominated by agricultural or forest land. They are also not planned or zoned for land, agricultural or resource protection; and
• Tier IV: Areas not planned for sewerage service and which are planned or zoned for protection. These are “areas dominated by agricultural, forest lands or other natural areas;” Rural Legacy Areas, Priority Preservation Areas or areas subject to preservation easements.  Tier IV is the most restrictive tier and creation of a major subdivision (eight lots or more) is not allowed within Tier IV.

In 2016 Calvert County Government embarked on a two-year process to update the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. The state act requires jurisdictions that have adopted Growth Tiers to incorporate them into their next comprehensive plan updates.

Growth Tier Map
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