WAREHOUSE ZONING BILL 23-026
On September 5, 2023 the Harford County Council introduced legislation from County Executive Bob Cassilly that would limit the size of new distribution centers to 250K square feet in certain zoning districts and add new restrictions on large distribution center development.
- Limit distribution centers to 150,000 sq ft in VB, B3, LI, CI and GI zones
- Limit distribution centers to 250,000 sq ft in CI, LI and GI zones with added restrictions
- Removes freight terminals from B3 and CI zones
- Maximum height of 42 feet
- Maximum building coverage per lot decreased to 40%
- Maximum impervious coverage per lot decreased to 60%
- Strengthened requirements for larger buffer yards and berms
- No parking or staging areas permitted within water source protection areas
- No grading permit shall be issued until required access roads are substantially completed and open to traffic
3P’S POSITION ON BILL 23-026
3P is supportive of the intent of the distribution center zoning bill on limiting facilities to 250K sq. ft. per building with additional requirements to lessen impact on communities. However there are some key components that need addressed through amendments before fully supporting the bill.
Here are 5 key points that 3P believes should be addressed:
- Project/Lot/Developable terms are defined and used consistently
- Metrics used to define intensity of use and impact are refined
- Permitted Use Charts (PUC) and references are made clear
- SWM requirements are sufficiently incorporated
- Special requirements for speculative projects are included
By addressing these key points through amendments, 3P believes that the distribution center zoning bill can strike a balance between supporting economic development and protecting the environment, infrastructure, and local communities. These amendments would help ensure that the bill promotes responsible distribution center development that benefits all stakeholders involved.
Statement by County Executive Bob Cassilly
In a statement County Executive Bob Cassilly said, “Our citizens have made it clear that they do not want unrestrained growth. This update to our development regulations clarifies ambiguous language in existing law, adds conditions for responsible development and is, frankly, long overdue. My administration’s goal is to fairly balance the rights of property owners with the interests of citizens who live and work in the surrounding community.”