Advertisement
HomeCollectionsCritical Area
IN THE NEWS

Critical Area

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Staff Writer | May 21, 1993
County Executive Robert R. Neall said yesterday he will send legislation reforming Anne Arundel's critical-area law to the County Council next week.The state Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission directed the county last spring to tighten the language of the 5-year-old program designed to control development within a 1,000-foot strip along the bay and its tributaries.Mr. Neall said yesterday that the proposed legislation would exceed state requirements.For example, the proposal would require builders to leave a 50-foot buffer around nontidal wetlands, which provide natural filters for nutrients and other pollutants carried by storm water into the bay. The state law requires only a 25-foot buffer.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2013
Environmental matters dominated the attention of the Anne Arundel County Council this week, as members voted to add restrictions on development in the county's so-called "critical area" near tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and hosted a spirited public debate on the question of imposing countywide storm-water management fees. By a 5-2 vote at their Feb. 19 meeting, council members approved the first measure, which supporters said brings the county's critical area code in line with amended state regulations.
Advertisement
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Staff writer | April 8, 1992
A Lower Broadneck developer wants to build 78 town homes, nearly a third of them in an environmentally protected Critical Area near Cape St. Claire.Robert Wilcox, the county's administrative hearing officer, said yesterday that he will grant property owner Mark Clark a special exception to build on the 21-acre parcel, previously known as the Peregoy property.After a 30-minute hearing in Annapolis, Wilcox said: "(Resident) opposition was tepid at best. . . . The best result for the residentswould be to allow no development, but that really isn't legal."
NEWS
March 29, 2012
The Maryland attorney general's office says a Pasadena tree service has been fined $10,000 for clearing trees without a permit in a critical area. Attorney General Doug Gansler's office said Thursday that Steve J. Everd, Jr., the owner of Branching Out Tree Service, pleaded guilty to the unpermitted clearing of a privately owned waterfront property in Davidsonville. The clearing was reported to Anne Arundel County by the South River Federation Riverkeeper. Investigators later spoke to the property owner and caretaker, who said the tree service was contracted to remove some limbs and the work that was done far exceeded the pruning that was authorized.
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Staff Writer | August 27, 1992
State regulators identified "holes, gaps and omissions" in the county's 4-year-old Chesapeake Bay Critical Area program yesterday that they say keep it from working the way it was intended.Sarah Taylor, executive director of the state Critical Area Commission, and her staff met with the county's Critical Area Update Committee in Annapolis. The committee, appointed by County Executive Robert R. Neall, is reviewing the county program and will propose amendments this fall."Anne Arundel County has always been one of the stalwart supporters of the critical areas Peninsula but had been placed But, in the four years since the state approved the county's program, Ms. Taylor said, the commission has realized that "all that once was thought to be roses and glitter isn't.
NEWS
By PHILLIP MCGOWAN and PHILLIP MCGOWAN,SUN REPORTER | July 23, 2006
Seeking to avoid a complicated fight in an election year, county officials have decided to set aside efforts to reform the "critical areas" environmental protection law until voters select a successor for outgoing County Executive Janet S. Owens. County leaders reached their decision after a series of recent public meetings on proposed revisions to critical area laws, which regulate development within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. While the county said it has significantly revised the bill based on forum input, residents said they need more time to study the changes.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun reporter | March 7, 2008
The O'Malley administration's effort to tighten shoreline development restrictions gained political momentum yesterday, as local officials announced their support for the bill after winning key concessions. But the compromise worried environmental advocates, who said they hope the legislation will still be sufficient to ensure that the 24-year-old Critical Area law can better protect the Chesapeake Bay from development. Developers also continued to object to the proposed rules, saying they go too far. Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., president of the Maryland Association of Counties, joined administration officials at a hearing before the House Environmental Matters Committee yesterday to declare the support of his politically potent group for the compromise.
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Staff Writer | March 10, 1993
Proposed revisions to the county's Critical Area program could make it tougher for property owners within 100 feet of the water to build their "dream" homes.But environmentalists and developers who got their first glimpse of the changes yesterday seemed to agree with Severna Park builder Kent Stow that "it's basically a fair plan.""They really tightened up where there were loopholes," said Rupert Friday, a representative with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, praising efforts by the county planning office to pull the revisions together.
NEWS
November 28, 2001
THE 31-ACRE tract on Cape Knoll by the Bird River would make a handsome addition to Mariner Point Park in southern Harford County. But the environmentally sensitive land in Joppatowne could also be used for residential development. The decision depends on the price - and on enforcement of state environmental laws. With wetlands, steep slopes, wildlife habitat and coastline, the land faces significant legal restrictions on development, regardless of county zoning designation. Those important protections should be enforced.
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Staff Writer | March 23, 1993
The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission is suing the county to stop a developer from bulldozing and clearing 12 residential lots at Back Bay Beach, a West River subdivision.The suit, filed Friday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court, seeks to overturn a grading permit issued to BMCN Joint Ventures last fall by the county Department of Inspections and Permits.Officials with the 27-member commission declined to comment about the suit yesterday.However, the commission has indicated in the past it believes BMCN's plan to build 71 homes on 22 waterfront acres violates the state Critical Area law. The 1984 statute protects a 1,000-foot strip along the bay and its tributaries from environmentally damaging development.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2011
An Severna Park man has been fined $11,500 for cutting trees in the designated shoreline buffer zone without permits or permission, authorities said. William E. Clark, of the 200 block of Lennox Ave., pleaded guilty to violating Maryland's shoreline development law, according to a Friday statement from the attorney general's office. In Mary 2010, Clark hired a tree service to remove several trees on his property and land owned by the Olde Severna Park Improvement Association Inc. that abuts his home and a beach area on the Severn River, the statement said.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2011
A Severna Park man has been charged with illegally removing trees from his and neighboring community property along the Severn River, in what officials say is the first criminal prosecution for alleged violations of laws regulating shoreline development. William E. Clark, 73, of the 200 block of Lennox Ave. was charged in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court with six violations of state and county laws, all misdemeanors, with penalties ranging from a $500 fine up to 18 months in jail.
NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,chris.guy@baltsun.com | September 26, 2008
In the latest turn in a four-year legal battle, the state's Critical Area Commission filed suit yesterday seeking to force an Annapolis building contractor to tear down the luxury compound he built without permits on a 2-acre island on the Magothy River. Commission officials said the action against Daryl C. Wagner and his company, DCW Dutchship Island LLC, marks the first time a beefed-up environmental enforcement law, approved last spring by state legislators, has been used. Four years ago, Anne Arundel zoning inspectors discovered that Wagner had built a 3,000-square-foot house, with a swimming pool, a replica of a lighthouse, a gazebo, a 40-by-8-foot driveway and a boat ramp on the 2-acre Little Dobbins Island without obtaining permits from state or local authorities.
NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,Sun reporter | August 14, 2008
Stung by criticism from homeowners and business leaders about uneven zoning enforcement and proposed tougher rules for construction along Anne Arundel's shoreline, county officials are planning to hire an expert to help steer property owners through the often complex land-use and permit process. County Executive John R. Leopold has been lining up legislative support for a bill he intends to present Monday that would create an ombudsman's position. Leopold says the slot will ensure consistent rules, speed up building permit applications and interpret standards for building in the county's critical area within 1,000 feet of the bay and its tributaries.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,Sun Reporter | August 7, 2008
A bill that would have given Anne Arundel County the ability to hand down stiffer penalties for building illegally along the Chesapeake Bay was yanked by the county administration after receiving heavy criticism from protesters and County Council members at a public hearing this week. Critics argued Monday night that the critical area bill robbed residents of due process by giving too much authority to the county's Department of Inspections and Permits, which would have been able to take decisive action without a lengthy litigation process - a feature county officials had called a plus.
NEWS
By Steven Stanek and Steven Stanek,Sun Reporter | July 20, 2008
Anne Arundel County could soon have some of the stiffest penalties in Maryland for violations of critical area laws. A proposed ordinance could force homeowners and contractors caught building without a permit in the critical area - land within 1,000 feet of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries - to sign a consent order admitting guilt and agreeing to a plan to repair the impact on the environment. The consent order must be signed in order to apply for a retroactive permit that would allow the structure to stand, officials said.
NEWS
July 23, 1996
MARYLAND'S Critical Area Act of 1984 aimed to curb the explosion of development along the state's shorelines, to implement sensible environmental protection while allowing for reasonable growth and enjoyment of waterfront resources. It fostered the concept of clustered development in these fragile areas, concentrating communities in order to preserve the attraction of a natural, undeveloped shoreline.As The Sun's series on coastal development of Southern Maryland points out, the legislation exempted untold thousands of waterfront lots that can be developed outside that law's restrictions.
NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,SUN STAFF | July 10, 2000
PHILLIPS ISLAND - Calling it an island might be a misnomer, but this 5.3-acre clump in the Nanticoke River has begun to look like the high ground for state and local environmental groups. They are promising a fight to remove a hunting compound they say was built without local permits or regard for Maryland's 16-year-old Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Act. At the center of the dispute is businessman Edwin H. Lewis, who made his fortune in the apparel industry with companies such as Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren.
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Timothy B. Wheeler and Bradley Olson and Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun reporters | April 5, 2008
The Maryland Senate passed legislation yesterday that would further tighten shoreline development restrictions in an effort to save the Chesapeake Bay from decline, though legislators amended a key provision that the bill's supporters said would weaken the effort. By a 32-14 margin, the chamber voted to shrink the proposed 300-foot setback for some new construction on rural shoreline to 200 feet, a move that concerned the bill's sponsors and environmentalists, who worry that it might not provide enough protection to the bay from polluted runoff.
NEWS
March 28, 2008
Environmentalists may soon have something big to rejoice: Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to upgrade Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Critical Area program appears to be headed for passage. The House has approved the bill - thanks to some reasonable compromises with local government and others who had opposed it. The Senate should soon follow suit. Achieving such a broad consensus was no small matter. The legislation not only updates the basic components of the program, but also gives the Critical Area Commission greater say over land-use decisions and significantly strengthens enforcement standards.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.