Maryland Sewage Treatment Tax Is Green Light For Developers

A Maryland statewide tax that provides communities with funding to improve sewage treatment facilities has been used as an excuse to increase sprawling development.

New housing developments are being approved across Maryland as a state tax is generating funding for municipalities to improve existing sewage treatment facilities and in some cases build new plants. Some cities in Maryland see the new sewage handling capacity as a green light to increase population and have approved large suburban housing developments in response. Many in the state's conservation movement are upset that a law intended to clean up the Chesapeake Bay has turned into a free pass for developers which will increase the amount of treated sewage that eventually makes its way into the Bay's waters.

"Elkton officials reversed their policy against annexing land for development as soon as the town received $7.5 million from the state's Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, according to town documents and officials. The fund provides grants to improve sewage plants using $30 annual fees paid by homeowners across the state."

"Half of these new plants will have more capacity than the ones they're replacing, to enable the construction of more homes. At least three of the plants - in Elkton, Kent Island and St. Michaels - will serve proposed developments with hundreds or thousands of new houses on environmentally sensitive waterfront areas, state records show."

Full Story: 'Flush' funds enable building

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00