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Maryland Department of Planning Completes Review of County Growth Tier Map

(5/17) The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) has completed its review of the Frederick County Tier Map adopted by the Frederick Board of County Commissioners as well as supplemental information provided from the Division of Community Development.

MDP Planning Services Director Richard Josephson recently sent a letter to Board President Blaine Young stating that the agency, "…is pleased to advise you that the department has no comments on the official Frederick County Tier Map . . . therefore no public hearing is required."

Commissioner Young commented "This is outstanding news and we are very pleased to hear from the Maryland Department of Planning that our extensive efforts in Annapolis have resulted in no administrative comments from this agency. Originally, Frederick County was one of only three ‘red’ counties on the MDP map that noted counties out of compliance with Senate Bill 236 from the 2012 Session of the Maryland General Assembly regarding new growth tier mapping. We also were the focus of a challenging legislative hearing in Annapolis.

"But, through our legislative outreach efforts and many meetings on this subject, as well as the efforts of Director Eric Soter of the Community Development Division in personally meeting and working with MDP Secretary Rich Hall, we have now received formal approval of our tier map.

"We would like to thank MDP for their review of the county’s adopted tier map and assure their officials that we will continue our work to share this information and assist our municipalities with regard to applying the tier map to their respective areas."

The Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 236, the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (i.e. the Septic Bill) during the 2012 legislative session. The goal of the legislation is as follows:

"To limit the disproportionate impacts of large subdivisions on septic systems on our farm and forest land, streams, rivers and Chesapeake and Coastal Bays."

Senate Bill 236 established four tiers of land use categories to identify where major and minor residential subdivisions may be located and what type of sewerage system (individual septic or public sewer) will serve them. The mapping reflects revisions to community growth area boundaries, zoning, and water/sewer classifications adopted in September 2012. The tier mapping was prepared by county staff with consultation by MDP.

Since the tier mapping will be applied within the municipalities, the draft mapping was coordinated with the respective municipal planners.

The board held a public meeting on February 26, 2013, to address the state comments on the previously adopted Growth Tier Map from December 20, 2012. A revised Growth Tier Map, that addressed the MDP comments, was presented and subsequently adopted by the board to replace the December 20th version.

For more information, visit the Community Development Division webpage at or contact Mr. Soter at 301-600-1153 or via e-mail at

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