What is the Critical Bay?
One of the questions I hear a lot, “What does the critical bay mean?” It’s a great question one I didn’t know the answer to before I moved to the area.
The Chesapeake Bay is nearly 200 miles long and is fed by 148 rivers and thousands of streams and creeks. It is home to more than 2700 plants and animals. The health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been decreasing because of pollution threatening the health of this large estuary. In 1984 the Critical Bay Area Act was passed to address the impacts of land development on habitats and the water.
The program was set up to help protect and improve the water quality and wildlife habitat. While it is a state law, local jurisdictions have to enforce it by having ordinances, codes, plans and policies that protect the bay
The critical bay area includes all land with 1000 feet of the Chesapeake Bay, tidal wetlands, or tidal waters. So just because you don’t have a waterfront home it does not mean you aren’t affected by the regulations. The best way to know if your property is in the critical bay area is to reach out to your local office. They have maps showing where the critical bay area is within your area.
If you are looking to buy a house within the critical area with the idea of adding-on, doing renovations, knocking down trees, putting in a pool or any other type of work on the property, make sure you do your research before you sign on the dotted line to make sure you can do what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent questions, because they should know many of the laws or should be willing to find out all the answers for you.
Anne Arundel County
· Main Number 410-222-7960
· Annapolis 410-263-7961
· Highland Beach 410-268-2956
· Main Number 410-535-1600 X 2338
· Chesapeake Beach 301-855-8398
· North Beach 301-855-6681