Centreville to update town’s Critical Area Map
CENTREVILLE — Due to a bill from the Maryland House of Delegates to update the 1,000 foot Critical Area boundaries throughout the state, the Centreville Town Council has introduced an ordinance that would amend, repeal and modify all zoning maps.
The town legislation, known as Ordinance 02-2017, was introduced for a first reading during the Thursday, May 4, meeting in the Liberty Building.
With the passage of House Bill 1253, which required the Department of Natural Resources and the Critical Area Commission to create a Statewide Base Map adding local Critical Area designations, the ordinance reads, the town was required to update its map.
The ordinance will be reviewed by the town’s Planning Commission during its May 17 meeting and members will provide the town with a recommendation. Council President Tim McCluskey said after Planning Commission review a public hearing will be held during a town council meeting as a portion of the map is in the town’s zoning code.
John Fury, town planning director, provided notes about the updated Critical Area Map to the council. He said minor deviations to the critical area boundaries regarding the 1,000 foot buffer were the only “substantial” changes from the current map, which was approved by the Critical Area Commission on April 23, 2015.
The minor deviations were due to shore erosion over the past decade and the amount of tidal shoreline that has been reduced on the west side of Route 213. The boundary line was modified due to the erosion.
“The Town has prepared an updated Critical Area map which reflects the Statewide Base Map critical area boundaries and designations of the Town of Centreville of all lands within the Town’s boundaries,” the ordinance reads.
According to the Department of Natural Resources website, the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Program was created in 1984 “to safeguard the Bay from the negative impacts of intense development.”
A determination of having a 1,000 foot buffer was made as any development within that area could have a detrimental effect on the watershed.
The Critical Area Commission had to come up with criteria that would help slow and minimize bad human activity on the water quality and habitats, the website states. It says a goal was to have “sensitive” development within the determined critical areas.
A public hearing will be held at the town council’s Thursday, May 18, meeting.
To read Ordinance 02-2017 in its entirety, visit www.townofcentreville.org.