Water & Sewer Amendments

Amendment Review Cycles & Process

 Water and sewer classifications regulate the timing of extending or connecting to public water and sewer infrastructure. Reclassifications are processed as amendments to the County’s Water and Sewerage Plan. 

Applications for Water and Sewerage Plan map and/or text amendments are processed 3 times per year in March, July, and November. The filing deadline is the last business day of the month. Amendments are not fully adopted and the official maps are not amended until approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). 

Applicants are advised that the timeline from application to MDE approval is typically around nine months, though it may be shorter or longer. Applicants are encouraged to work with the County early on in a project as water and sewer classifications impact obtaining building permits, recording plats, etc.   

How To Submit a Water and Sewer Amendment Application

Water and Sewer Amendment Process

The flowchart details major milestones in the amendment process. 

Step 1 – 3: Application is made through the County’s online Application Portal. For more information click “Application Submission & Instructions”. 

Applications are accepted for three amendment cycles each year. The filing deadlines are as follows: 

  • Spring Cycle (Submittal deadline occurs annually on March 31st) *
  • Summer Cycle (Submittal deadline occurs annually on July 31st) *
  • Fall Cycle (Submittal deadline occurs annually on November 30th) *

* When the deadline for any cycle falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the effective deadline shall be the last business day of the preceding week.

Prior to the deadline, applicants should be familiar with the Application Submission and Instructions form, the Water & Sewerage Plan Classification System (see Page 1-24 of the Water & Sewerage Plan), the Applicant Disclosure Form, and the March 3, 2015, Policy Memo

When an application is deemed complete by County staff, the applicant pays the water and sewer amendment fee. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Step 4: Review Team Meeting After an application deadline closes, County staff review all applications received. The review team is made up of staff from Development Review, Livable Frederick (long range planning), Water and Sewer Utilities, the Health Department, and the County Attorney’s Office. Applicants may receive further guidance after this meeting on their applications.

Step 5-6: Public Hearings The steps are two meetings that are open to the public. These are the public hearings before the Planning Commission and the County Council. 

  • The Planning Commission determines whether the proposed amendment is consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan or a municipality’s comprehensive plan. 
  • The County Council determines whether an amendment meets the technical criteria outlined in the Water & Sewerage Plan.

Step 7-8: Final Approvals These two steps do not involve public participation.

The County Council’s decision is sent to the County Executive as a Resolution for approval or veto.

  • If approved by the County Executive, an Amendment is forwarded to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). MDE is the final decision-maker for amendments to the Water and Sewerage Plan.