The Anne Arundel County Council passed legislation Monday night that its members say tightens the procedures for people living and building along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
The bill may be better known for what it almost was.
"It's probably safe to say this bill almost became, I think, too cumbersome," said Council Chairwoman Cathleen M. Vitale, a Severna Park Republican.
At one point, the council adopted an amendment that would have required people living in critical areas - within 1,000 feet of sensitive waterfront - to get grading permits before adding certain playground-type equipment on their property
Grading permits can cost a few thousand dollars.
The council then removed the amendment.
"If the county creates laws that are too cumbersome, people don't follow them, they avoid them," Vitale said.
The bill's final version creates the potential for fees for people who disturb the buffer between their land and the water.
It also designates that requests for rezoning within the critical area will be limited to commercial and industrial purposes.
And it requires a nitrate removal system for any buildings constructed in the critical area that are not on the public water system.