Commission Information


About the Commission and Its Members


Questions?

... or information about the Critical Area Program or questions relating to State oversight of local programs, e-mail us or call 410-260-3460

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Critical Area Commission
1804 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Telephone:410-260-3460
Fax:410-974-5338

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Commission Meeting and Commission Agenda Information

The January 6, 2021 meeting of the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays will be held virtually due to the current public health emergency. Below is a link to the agenda and staff reports. If you wish to join the meetings on-line please use the appropriate links below on the day and times noted.

January 6, 2021 Agenda​

January 6, 2021 Staff Reports

MDTA Maintenance and New Office Building Staff Report

MTA Riverside Maintenance Building Staff Report​

Fruitland Comprehensive Review Staff Report

Fruitland Map Update Staff Report​​

Kent County Map Extension Staff Report

St. Mary's County Map Extension Staff Report

Program Implementation Subcommittee 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Project Review Subcommittee 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Commission Meeting 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Any written public testimony must be received at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Please include your contact information and the specific matter for which you are submitting testimony.

Testimony may be emailed to the following email address: cacmailings.dnr@maryland.gov

Alternatively, you may send comments by mail to:

Critical Area Commission
ATTN: Public Testimony for 1/6/21 meeting
1804 West Street, Suite 100
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Archived Meetings and Archived Meeting Minutes


2021 Commission Meeting and Submittal Schedule

The following schedule is for all project and program issues that are submitted to Commission staff for consideration by the Critical Area Commission at its regularly scheduled meetings. This schedule is for general planning purposes ONLY. The schedule does not necessarily guarantee that a project or program item submitted by the deadline will be considered at the accompanying meeting date. Only projects deemed ‘Complete’ by Commission staff may be scheduled. For more detailed information about submittal requirements, deadlines, or scheduling, contact Nick Kelly or Charlotte Shearin at 410-260-3480. or Email: Nick.Kelly@maryland.gov or Email: Charlotte.Shearin@maryland.gov.

MEETING DATE SUBMITTAL DEADLINE
January 6, 2021 November 25
February 3, 2021 December 23
March 3, 2021 January 20
April 7, 2021 February 24
May 5, 2021 March 24
June 2, 2021 April 21
July 7, 2021 May 26
August 4, 2021 June 23
September 1, 2021 July 21
October 6, 2021 August 25
November 3, 2021 September 22
December 1, 2021​ October 20


Roles and Responsibilities of the Commission

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The Commission was created by the Critical Area Act in 1984. The Commission was initially charged with adopting regulations and criteria necessary to effectively implement the Act. This effort was completed in 1985; whereupon the Commission was required to review and approve all local government plans, programs, ordinances, and regulations that were proposed as part of a jurisdiction's Critical Area Program. This review and approval process took several years, but all local Critical Area Programs were operational in 1990.

Today the Commission's primary responsibilities are the following:

  • Review and approve State projects on State-owned land in the Critical Area;
  • Review and approve State or local agency actions resulting in major development on private lands or lands owned by local jurisdictions; and
  • Review and approve all changes to a jurisdiction's Critical Area Program, including changes to ordinances, regulations, and maps.

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Composition

The Commission consists of 29 voting members who are appointed by the Governor. The composition of the Commission is as follows:

A chairman, appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate, who serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

Thirteen individuals appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate, each of whom is a resident and an elected or appointed official of a local jurisdiction, and may only serve on the Commission while they hold local office. At least one of the 13 must be an elected or appointed official of a municipality. Each is selected from certain counties or from municipalities within the counties as follows:

  • One from each of Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Prince George's counties;
  • One from Harford or Cecil County;
  • One from Kent or Queen Anne's County;
  • One from Caroline County;
  • One from Talbot or Dorchester County;
  • One from Wicomico or Somerset County;
  • Two from Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary's County (both cannot be from the same county); and
  • Two from Worcester County, one who is a resident of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the other who is a resident of the Atlantic Coastal Bays watershed.

Eight individuals appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate, who represent diverse interests, and among whom shall be a resident of each of the five counties listed above from which an appointment has not been made subject to the requirements of the thirteen individuals listed above. Three of these eight individuals are "at-large members", one of whom is a private citizen and resident of the Atlantic Coastal Bays watershed.

Seven individuals, who are ex officio members, who are the Secretaries of the following State Departments or their designee:

  • Department of Agriculture;
  • Department of Commerce;
  • Department of Housing and Community Development;
  • Department of the Environment;
  • Department of Transportation;
  • Department of Natural Resources;
  • Department of Planning.

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Terms of the Commission Members

Except for the Chairman and ex officio State officers or their designees, the term of a Commission member is four years. A member may serve no more than two terms. The terms are staggered, and at the end of a member's term, he or she continues to serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies. If a vacancy arises, other than through expiration of a term, the Governor shall appoint a successor of like qualification, with the advice and consent of the Senate, within 30 days.

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