Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act (SB 236)

The Maryland General Assembly approved the Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 236), also known as the septics bill, during the 2012 General Assembly session.

The bill establishes four growth tiers based on specified land use characteristics, which may be adopted by local jurisdictions. Beginning December 31, 2012, a jurisdiction may not authorize a residential major subdivision served by on-site sewage disposal systems, community sewerage systems, or shared systems unless it adopts growth tiers consistent with the bill. A jurisdiction that does not adopt a growth tier may authorize either a residential minor subdivision served by on-site sewage disposal systems, or any subdivision in a “Tier I” area served by “public sewer”. The bill establishes land use and sewerage criteria and restrictions applicable to each of the four tiers. The bill establishes exceptions from and conditions upon these restrictions, and it allows for the transfer of subdivision rights among specified agricultural property owners.

For additional information about SB 236, click on the following link located on the Maryland Department of Planning website:


Public Hearing

The Dorchester County Planning Commission held a public hearing on Wednesday September 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm in Room 110 of the County Office Building in Cambridge, Maryland. The purpose of the hearing was to consider the designated and mapped Tier Areas as established in the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act (SB 236). Dorchester County Council decided not to adopt the Tier Maps later that year.