Hayden hopes to simplify building near the bay Rules may be eased along critical areas

October 29, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

The Hayden administration is proposing two changes to the state's critical area program that restricts development along 173 miles of county shoreline by the Chesapeake Bay.

One change would make it easier for people living on the eastern county waterfront to put small additions or auxiliary buildings on their lots.

The second would simplify the procedure for getting permission to build on about 340 acres of county land that could be developed within the critical areas near the water. The county planning board would have to review this change. Approval would come from the County Council and the state Critical Area Commission.

The state law to protect the bay by restricting development within 1,000 feet of its shores took effect in 1987.

Yesterday, County Executive Roger B. Hayden said he has been bombarded with complaints from waterfront residents caught in the web of regulations covering the 10,000 county acres involved.

The change he authorized would allow construction if less than 400-square-feet is disturbed, if the work occurs on an already developed lot, if the land is more than 100 feet from a tidal area or stream. The work also cannot have an impact on wetlands and must not involve forest removal.

The second change affecting 340 acres of county land near the waterfront would combine two bureaucratic approvals -- growth allocation and development approval -- into one process.

Although the critical areas law was created to keep development away from the bay, each county was allowed land that could be developed after careful review.

In Baltimore County, about 50 acres of growth allocation land has been approved for development.

Mr. Hayden and county environmental chief J. James Dieter said the proposed change would make it easier for residents to understand the process and to get involved in it.

"People have come to us time and time again" complaining about the myriad of rules governing even the construction of a storage shed, he said.

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