The state bogeyman is holding the Frederick County's planning authority hostage, Commissioners President Blaine Young said during the planning commission meeting Wednesday.Maybe the 'Bay Diet' is more about control of land use than restoring the Bay. It seems like that sometimes.
County planners presented the draft of a map that amounts to the ransom, he said. The map divides the county into areas by type of sewer service in use or expected to be, and the state will see how the county intends to handle residential sewer needs in the next several decades.
Young, the board's liaison to the planning commission, objects to the septic mapping requirement. He sees that as the first step toward limiting the locality's prerogative to approve subdivisions with more than five lots that use septic systems. One of the state's contributions toward improving the Chesapeake Bay's health last year was to pass Senate Bill 236, a law that discourages septic systems, among other things.
"Everybody said I was hollering about the bogeyman. ... (T)he bogeyman is true," Young said. "They say they aren't getting involved in local land use, but they are."
Young said the state is usurping local authority in the name of solving a problem that starts beyond Maryland's borders and will not be fixed by limiting Frederick County's septic systems.
"The Susquehanna (River) does more damage than anyone," he said.
Yeah, the Susquehanna is the biggest net source of nutrients to the Bay, but that is because it collects and integrates the contributions of many jurisdictions up stream from the Bay. All these jurisdictions are facing the same kinds of choices that Frederick County is. And the potential costs they are facing are huge.