Planning Commission plans work session on new regulations

August 02, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION and JULIE GREENE

Washington County Planning Commission members Monday night decided to hold a work session about proposed new land-use regulations in the county's urban growth boundary in light of concerns that have been aired about the proposals.

Planning commission members scheduled the work session for Aug. 16 at 3 p.m. and set aside up to three hours to deal with the issues.

The planning commission decided to have the work session at the close of a Monday meeting at the Washington County Courthouse.

Planning Commission Chairman George Anikis said he wanted to have the meeting after concerns were raised about a proposed new law that says no new animal-husbandry facilities may be built in the urban growth boundary.


At a July 21 public meeting at Springfield Middle School in Williamsport, local farmer Jim Weddle, who has a crop and cattle farm south of Funkstown in the urban growth boundary, said he wants to tear down a barn on his farm and build a new one.

Weddle asked a county planning official at the meeting if he would be allowed to complete the project under the proposed new regulations. The planning official could not say if Weddle would be able to do so.

Anikis said that parts of the proposed new laws need to be clear so county residents can make judgments on whether they support them. He said some language in the proposed new laws might need to be clarified.

Another proposed change that has drawn concern was the creation of an "airport hazardous wildlife attractant management district," in which any proposed land use would be reviewed for its potential to attract birds or other wildlife hazardous to aircraft operations at the airport.

The proposed text calls for the airport director to advise the planning commission about such hazards.

There has been concern about the airport having control over zoning in the county and Anikis said he wants to review the airport-related proposals.

The Herald-Mail Articles