Following Successful Mediation, Wicomico County Must Now Draw Map Legislated by State of Maryland
Tuesday, October, 22, 2013
After two nights of mediation, Wicomico County, Maryland, city officials are more optimistic about a fair and agreeable method for determining housing developments’ location and size within the county. County Executive Rick Pollitt has expressed optimism regarding his future meetings with the County Council and the ability of both sides to work together in creating a four-tiered map that will include the present plans of the county.
Additionally, both sides are looking at the prospect of inviting the input of the public in collaboration with county planners to create a county water and sewer authority. According to Pollitt, the dialogue might help the situation currently required by the Maryland Department of Planning regarding the amount of farming land that must be placed in the restrictive fourth tier.
“I think that the point behind the legislation was to deal with the growth of septics and the resulting pollution to groundwater from septics and the water that eventually reaches the Bay,” says Pollitt. “I think the map looks different when you have an expanded public sewer system because there might be ways to develop that land that aren’t available now.”
The farmers in the area have expressed concerns about a reduction in both development rights and land value, in addition to whether or not the State of Maryland was usurping the county’s authority in demands for creation of the map. Matt Holloway, Wicomico County Council President and farmer, was one of the members of the 20-person mediation team, and has stated his support for moving ahead with the creation of the map and the required four tiers.