Overview of SB 236 Requirements

In 2012, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill (SB) 236, which was signed by the Governor and became effective July 1, 2012.

The law restricts residential subdivisions through the use of a system of growth tiers. Tiers must be based on criteria outlined in the law and will determine the type of sewage disposal system allowed in a given area. The law does not apply to commercial and industrial development.

The law also limits the number of lots that can be developed on individual septic systems (also known as on-site disposal systems, or OSDS) in certain areas. Only minor subdivisions could be approved in areas placed into Tier IV. Chapter 155 of the County Code, Development and Subdivision of Land, defines a minor subdivision as 3 or less lots. However, the law allows a jurisdiction to amend its code to allow up to 7 lots on individual on-site disposal systems ("septics"). This change was to be made by December 31, 2012. The law does not allow this change after that time.

If growth tiers are not identified by December 31, 2012, no more than seven lots can be approved on a property until tiers are adopted.

The law exempts preliminary plans that are submitted prior to October 1, 2012, and received preliminary plan approval by October 1, 2016.

Allowing Up to 7 Lots on Septic Systems

On December 20, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners amended Chapter 155 to allow up to 7 lots to be approved to be served by individual septic systems. All development proposals are required to comply with all other processing and code provisions applicable to minor subdivisions. See the signed ordinance below.

Development Plan Process and Grandfathered Plans

The law exempts preliminary plans that are submitted prior to October 1, 2012, and receive preliminary plan approval by October 1, 2016. The letter below to surveyors and developers within the county, signed jointly by the Carroll County Health Department and the then Carroll County Department of Land Use, Planning & Development (now Carroll County Department of Land & Resource Management), explains the grandfathering provisions of SB 236 as they applied to Carroll County.

Mapping of Growth Tiers

Carroll County Land Use, Planning & Development (LUPD) (now Land & Resource Management) staff recommended the Board delay mapping and adoption of tier maps until the identification of tiers could be evaluated more thoroughly as part of a comprehensive planning process. On December 13, 2012, the Board discussed if and when to map the tiers. No action was taken.

For more information regarding SB 236, please visit Maryland Department of Planning's website for Septics Law Implementation