"The one thing this map represents from a visual perspective is our county's land use plan," she said, noting Tier 4 is "purely consistent" with the county's existing designations.
Gutwald disagreed: "To a certain degree. The state did take an extra step in controlling the density and [other factors] of it, which is typically a local role."
She said many other jurisdictions have wrestled with the same issues.
"You cannot ignore that what happens on the land affects the water," she said. "Property rights must be preserved, as long as they stop where another person's start."
Councilman Jim McMahan did not like the bill, either.
"This is Big Brother at his best," he said.
Fire station transfer
The council held a hearing on a request to surplus 2.5 acres on Patterson Mill Road to the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company.
The hearing was held despite the administration's failure to send letters informing several adjacent property owners in time for the hearing. The council said residents would still have an opportunity on Oct. 9 and again on Oct. 16 to testify on the bill.
The property was bought for $2.7 million and subdivided and then declared surplus for Patterson Mill Middle/High School. It also had $2.3 million worth of improvements.
McMahan said having a firehouse there will "obviously facilitate the residents of the Emmorton area with public safety."
County administration director Mary Chance said in the past, the county has only paid for part of a new fire station.
"This is the first time ever the county has completely funded the building of a fire station," she said.
Although she was not involved in the initial negotiations of the plan, Chance said: "I believe it would be reasonable to say because it's here in Bel Air, where the bulk of calls are responded to, that when the [Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association] looked at where they needed a fire station, it was there."
"At some point the county agreed to build the facility and fully fund it, then transfer it to the fire company [to staff and equip and maintain]," she said.
Boniface asked if this is how the county will proceed in the future if another fire company approached the administration.
Chance replied: "It's my interpretation, in working with the public safety commission, that this is another issue they're going to look at, and in great detail."
Councilman Joe Woods said when the whole concept started, he believes the county agreed to bear the burden of a new fire station any time it was built in the development envelope.
He said fire stations in Abingdon and Joppa were mentioned for such a process, as well as the Patterson Mill one.
"I think it's the first station that's actually been built in the development envelope in a very long time," he said.