St. Mary's Gov. to Host Public Mtgs. Wed., Thu. to Discuss Proposed Changes to TDRs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Gov. to Host Public Mtgs. Wed., Thu. to Discuss Proposed Changes to TDRs

LEONARDTOWN, Md. - The Board of County Commissioners of St. Mary's County is hosting two Public Information Sessions to discuss proposed changes to the Transferable Development Rights Program (TDRs). The session are scheduled for this Wednesday and Thursday, April 25 and 26.

TDRs are used as a means of preserving agricultural lands. They are land-use tools designed to encourage growth in the designated growth areas. TDR stands for Transferable Development Right. Each parcel of record has development rights associated with it. The amount of development rights are calculated by the size of the parcel. If a person wishes to preserve their land and relinquish their future development potential, they may choose to lift one or more development right(s) from their property. Once these development rights are lifted from the original parcel, they become a marketable commodity to be purchased and used by anyone wishing to increase the allowable development potential of their property.

Proposed TDR amendments were discussed at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on February 27, 2007 and the commissioners authorized the proposal to be reviewed and return to their agenda in the form of a Public Hearing on May 15, 2007.

Proposed TDR amendments would revise numerous sections of the Zoning Ordinance to include:

* a change in calculating the number of TDRs on a sending property to 1 TDR per 5 acres using gross acreage, rather than the existing formula of 1 TDR per 3 acres after first deducting from the gross acreage all acreage associated with sensitive areas.

* continue to provide the opportunities to transfer TDRs from sending areas in the Rural Preservation District (RPD) to receiving areas in the RPD; however each additional dwelling after the initial dwelling on a property would be required to purchase TDR(s).

* for receiving areas in the RPD, increase the number of TDRs required for each anticipated dwelling as shown on a submitted subdivision plan. The number of required TDRs will vary as the density increases from 1 dwelling unit per 5 acres up to a maximum of 1 dwelling unit per 3 acres.

The information sessions will be Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Spring Ridge Middle School and on Thursday, April 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Chopticon High School. The sessions will consist of a thorough media presentation outlining the proposal which will run repetitively throughout the evening and several stations with additional clarifying maps and charts.

The County Government has requested comments on the proposal from the public. Citizens can E-Mail comments to bocc (at) or mail to Board of County Commissioners, St. Mary's County Government, PO Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 6:30 in the Auditorium of the College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus.

Citizen feedback will be considered when the commissioners meet to discuss the proposal.

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