PHOTO FROM MARYLAND FARM BUREAU

Prince Frederick, MD – In an effort to revise Calvert County’s regulations regarding the permitting of additional homes to be built on sizable properties by family members, The Calvert County Planning Commission considered input on the subject during their February meeting. A memo to the planning commission from the panel’s administrator, Carolyn Sunderland, noted that two years ago the Calvert County Commissioners issued a directive to the staffs of the departments of Community Planning and Building, and Public Works to “meet with the agriculture community and discuss their concerns with the current Family Conveyance provisions, to review the current county zoning ordinance and road ordinance relative to those concerns and propose changes that would make those changes more flexible and reduce the costs for the creation of those lots for family members.”

Representatives of both departments have had four meetings with Calvert County farmland owners about the conveyance issue. During the planning commission’s Feb. 15 meeting, two letters with two different recommendations were weighed.
A joint statement submitted by four local entities—the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, the local Tourism Advisory Council, the Agricultural Commission and Economic Development Commission—recommended “that a family conveyance lot be held by an eligible family member for 10 years, or five TDRs [transfer of development rights] must be applied.”

A statement signed by Jason Leavitt of the Calvert County Farm Bureau stated the local chapter “supports that the required time frame for family member lot retention not exceed five years.”

“I’m very much in favor of the family conveyance,” said commission member Richard Holler. “I have no problem with the 10 years.” Another commission member, William Glascock, opined that 10 years seemed too long. Two motions to approve the recommended parameters failed. Finally, planning commission alternate Maria Buehler moved to set the timeframe at five-to-seven years. That motion passed.

The proposed changes to Calvert’s family conveyance amendments will be an agenda item at a joint public hearing of the planning commission and county commissioners sometime in April.

Glascock exits commission
The February meeting was the last for planning commission member William Glascock, who said his farewells to other members at the session’s conclusion. The Solomons resident has served on the panel for over two terms. His current term expires Feb. 28.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com