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The Calvert County Planning Commission unanimously approved to send two amendments to the Maryland Department of the Environment at its Wednesday meeting, so changes to two failing wastewater treatment facilities can be made.

It also recommended adoption of the amendments to the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners, who will hold a public hearing on the matter in March before taking action.

The on-site wastewater treatment facility at Huntingtown High School is failing, according to a memo from Wayne Raither, the county’s water and sewerage division chief. The memo states that the high school’s facility will be closed and decommissioned and the sewerage will flow to the Marley Run Wastewater Treatment Plant. Raither explained to the planning commission that the Calvert County Board of Education has received a violation notice from MDE.

According to Raither, the BOE will pay a flat rate sewerage charge for use of the Marley Run plant.

The county wishes to connect the Calvert County Industrial Park treatment plant via a pumping station and force main to the Prince Frederick Wastewater Treatment Plant, according to the memo. The industrial park’s facility will be closed and decommissioned, the memo states. Raither said the industrial park facility is in “extremely bad condition.”

He said the two proposed changes would help the county receive nitrogen removal credits as both the Prince Frederick WWTP and the Marley Run WWTP remove higher levels of nitrogen. He added that the changes would be cheaper for the county than upgrading the systems to meet regulations.

MDE is requiring the county to amend its Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan to reflect the proposed changes so the changes can be implemented.

Raither said there are no other facilities he is aware of that may need similar actions in the future because “our other plants are doing very well.”

In other business, the planning commission:

• Authorized staff to schedule a joint public hearing with the BOCC to correct the zoning of a portion of Dominion Cove Point LNG property in Lusby in the official county zoning map. The amendment is proposed to correct the zoning boundaries within the Dominion property to match a June 1970 boundary survey. Vice Chairman Michael Phipps abstained from the vote;

• Unanimously approved to send a text amendment regarding dormitories accessory to institutional uses to a joint public hearing with the BOCC. The proposed amendment removes “dormitory” from the residential section of the county use charts and includes it in the Institutional section of the use chart under College or University and Elementary or Secondary School. The definitions are also proposed to change accordingly;

• Unanimously approved to send a text amendment regarding reduction of setbacks for adjacent non-residential properties under the same ownership to a joint public hearing with the BOCC. The proposed amendment provides automatic elimination of side and rear yard setbacks when adjacent non-residential properties are jointly owned;

• Unanimously approved to sent a text amendment regarding the maximum size of retail commercial buildings based on floor area ratio to a joint public hearing with the BOCC. The amendment proposed to replace the maximum per parcel building size of 25,000 square feet for retail commercial buildings in the Rural Commercial Zoning District with a maximum building size on a floor area ratio of 0.2. A floor area ratio definition is also proposed to be added to the county zoning ordinance;

• Unanimously approved to distribute a text amendment regarding age-restricted housing for agency comments. The amendment proposes to change the statement in the county zoning ordinance from requiring all dwelling units in an age-restricted community be occupied by at least one age-qualified resident to be occupied by at least one age-qualified resident in at least 80 percent of the total dwelling units;

• Unanimously approved to distribute nine text amendments regarding compliance of subdivision review with the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 for agency comments.

aharrison@somdnews.com