The Garrett County Planning Commission met on May 4th to consider, among other things, a request for a "text amendment" to the zoning ordinance for the Deep Creek Watershed. The amendment asks that language be added to the zoning ordinance that prohibits vertical drilling (fracking) within the watershed. The text amendment was modified during discussion to include a phrase offered by the POA which added "...associated surface infrastructure..." to the text. This addition would prohibit storage facilities, pipe lines, etc. from being installed within the watershed.
The Planning Commission motion was to recommend approval of the requested amendment with modifications. The motion called to replace the current Section 157.024(A)6 with the following wording:
"Natural gas wellheads including associated surface infrastructure, provided consistent language is included in the revised Comprehensive Plan". This category would be listed as not permitted in any zoning district within the Deep Creek watershed.
The Planning Commission voted 5 to 1 in favor of forwarding the proposed text amendment to the County Commissioners.