7:30 AM EST, December 4, 2012
We are disturbed by the decisions made by 3rd District Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff in the recent Comprehensive Zoning Map Process ("Letter about Huff's CZMP decision begs for rebuttal," Nov. 15). He gave more development rights to rural landowners even though the areas were labeled for agricultural preservation or resource preservation.
That goes against the county's master plan, it is destructive to the environment, and makes it harder for farmers to keep farming. Now we've learned that some of the developments he authorized will be exempt from a new state clean water plan.
The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Act of 2012, also known as the "septic bill," aims to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay by limiting the size of new residential developments that rely on private septic systems. Contaminants from septic systems pass into underground aquifers that flow into local streams, the Loch Raven Reservoir and, eventually, the Chesapeake Bay.
The law allows for grand-fathering in developments that would be too large, as long as a basic sketch of the development plans is filed by October 1. Some of the landowners — including a close family friend of Mr. Huff — who just got the right to develop at the end of August have already filed to avoid complying with the septic restrictions.
These actions may be legal, but are they ethical? Rather than supporting clean water and protecting rural areas, Mr. Huff provides financial rewards for some landowners and allows our water supply to be degraded. We need elected officials who will act in the broader public interest.
Mike and Gina Greaver, Sparks
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