Please click the following link to view a timeline of planning regulations in Maryland & Garrett County.
Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (The Septic Bill)
The Maryland General Assembly approved the Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 236) during the 2012 General Assembly session. The law, which took effect on July 1, 2012, is sometimes referred to as the Septic Bill since it seeks to limit the spread of residential development on septic systems.
The Act required all jurisdictions, including Garrett County, to adopt land use categories called Tiers. The Tiers were created based on certain criteria in the Act that established where major and minor residential subdivisions may be located and what type of sewerage system will serve them. The Garrett County Commissioners adopted the original Tier Map on December 4, 2012. On November 7, 2016 the Garrett County Commissioners adopted an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan that incorporated a slightly updated version of the Garrett County Tier Map into the Plan. All subdivisions submitted on or after December 31, 2012 must comply with the Tier Map and other provisions of the Act.
Garrett County Heritage Area Management
Maryland’s Heritage Areas are locally designated and State certified regions where public and private partners make commitments to preserving historical, cultural and natural resources for sustainable economic development through heritage tourism. The Garrett County Commissioners adopted the Garrett County Heritage Plan on April 22, 2003. The Plan described the Garrett County’s rich heritage and was the first step towards establishing a Recognized Heritage Area in the county.
The Garrett County Heritage Area Management Plan was adopted by the Commissioners in June 2011 and established the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area. The Heritage Area has four major themes: Transportation, including Braddock’s Trail and the National Road; Man and Nature, highlighting the county’s unique natural resources; Historic Recreation as Garrett County’s natural beauty has inspired travelers from all walks of life to visit and locate to the area; and Cultural Uniqueness, recounting the lives of various cultural groups that settled and have remained in the area. These key heritage topics best describe the local historical, cultural, archeological, natural resource and transportation systems which depict the story of how Garrett County came to be.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the official management entity for the Heritage Area. The Chamber can be contacted at 301-387-4386.
Garrett County 2012 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan
The 2012 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan was officially adopted by the Garrett County Commissioners on May 15, 2012. Upon adoption, this LPPRP replaced the 2005 LPPRP and became one of a number of functional plans that help implement the Garrett County Comprehensive Plan.
The State of Maryland requires that counties update Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plans (LPPRPs) every six years. The LPPRPs qualify local governments for State Program Open Space (POS) grants and other programs related to three land resource elements: recreation and parks; agricultural land preservation; and natural resource land conservation.
The main purpose for the 2012 Garrett County LPPRP is to identify future needs and priorities for parks, recreation and open space acquisition, facility development and rehabilitation in the County and its eight incorporated towns. These needs and priorities serve as a guide for land acquisitions and capital investments in the County’s and towns’ Capital Improvements Programs. This 2012 LPPRP describes progress made since the 2005 LPPRP; addresses recommendations made in the 2009 State LPPRP; and identifies needs and priorities of current and future County residents and visitors for parks and recreation.
Deep Creek Lake Watershed Economic Growth and Planning Analysis Study
In 2004, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) was hired to conduct a study of economic and planning opportunities in the Deep Creek watershed and suggest means and measures to address issues concerning land use, growth and development, environmental quality, and management.
The Final Recommendations were completed in December 2004 based on information found in the following previous reports: