|State official says QA's
can deny sewer service to undeveloped lots on Route 8
Star Democrat, 08/03/2004
OCEAN CITY - The Queen Anne's County Commissioners met with Maryland Secretary of Planning Audrey Scott to discuss the county's ability to deny sewer service to vacant lots along state Route 8 on southern Kent Island.
On Aug. 19, three of the five commissioners met with Scott at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) conference. Prominent in their discussion was the commissioners' desire to be able to deny service to vacant lots when the county extends public sewer on Route 8 south.
"This was a very pivotal meeting," Commission President Ben Cassell said in a county news release. "We want to solve the failing septic issue on Kent Island by running public sewer down Route 8, but we don't want to open up development in the process. We think we have now found a way to do that."
Commissioners Cassell, R.O. "Nemo" Niedomanski and Joe Cupani attended the Thursday morning meeting at which they pressed Scott to allow them a legal mechanism to deny sewer access to at least 1,100 vacant lots of record.
The news release said Scott assured the county commissioners they have local discretion to deny sewer service to vacant lots. Many of the areas of failing septic and health concern on Kent Island are located outside of designated Priority Funding Areas (PFAs). Normally, the state only allows state funds for new public sewer service to be used inside PFAs. The Queen Anne's County Commissioners recently obtained an exception to allow them to service a certain number of existing homes outside of the PFAs to solve the failing septic issues on southern Kent Island.
Complete story appears in the print version.
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