ELKTON — Another hurdle has been cleared for the Barksdale Crossing subdivision on Barksdale Road near the Delaware state line. The proposed project, which has now passed its second stage of approval from the Cecil County Planning Commission, is a 73-lot major subdivision and will now move on to the next step in the process.

The process

When a subdivision project is proposed, there are multiple steps between the proposal and final approval.

First, a project must go through review from the Department of Land Use and Development Services. The applicant must submit a concept plat, which is a sketch showing how the land will be divided, to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

Then, so long as there are no major revisions after the TAC review, that concept plat may be presented to the Planning Commission. For Barksdale Crossing, the concept plat was approved by the Commission on June 20, 2020.

Next, a preliminary plat must be reviewed by the TAC and then the Planning Commission for approval.

“If a Preliminary Plat is provided an approval, then it is valid for a period of three years,” said Cecil County Government Public Information Officer Kevin Alkinburg. “Approval of a preliminary plat automatically extends the approval of the concept plat to coincide with the preliminary plat’s expiration date.”

The Barksdale Crossing project, surveyed and planned by McCrone Inc., an Elkton-based engineering consultant, passed the preliminary plat approval on Monday at the planning meeting. The project was approved with conditions.

Utility plans for Barksdale Crossing

As far as utilities are concerned, the proposed plan is that the subdivision will tie into Cecil County wastewater treatment. The waste, as proposed, will ultimately go to the Meadowview Wastewater Treatment Plant, operated by the Department of Public Works.

Water and power are proposed to be handled by private companies, with water services proposed to be provided by Artesian Water Company.

The departments and who approves what

The Planning Commission is supported by the Department of Land Use and Development Services. While Land Use and Development Services ensures compliance with the subdivision regulations, most of the ground work and approval process is done by the Planning Commission.

“The Planning Commission is appointed by the county executive, and confirmed by the County Council,” Alkinburg said. “The Planning Commission serves as a citizen review board and makes recommendations to the Board of Appeals or County Commissioners regarding rezoning cases, special exceptions, amendments or changes to county ordinances. The Planning Commission has the authority to approve all major subdivisions of land.”

The TAC works to ensure technical problems are overcome or identified with proposed projects.

“The Technical Advisory Committee, or TAC, is composed of staff members from various agencies, and a citizen’s at-large representative appointed by the county executive, to assist developers in getting information and technical assistance in the review of development proposals,” Alkinburg said.

What’s next

Now that the project has passed the second major hurdle, the developers must now prepare a final plat for review.

Before that final plat submission, however, there are a few individual approvals required.

“Prior to submittal of the final plat, the final stormwater management plan, final forest conservation plan/final environmental assessment, landscape plan and all public improvement plans must be approved,” Alkinburg said.

This is where the Barksdale Crossing project currently stands. McCrone must provide a final plat but only after all of the individual plans aforementioned are approved.

“With the approval of the preliminary plat, the project has validity until September 30, 2024,” Alkinburg said. “The applicant will be working through the final plat procedures outlined above to get the project, or a portion thereof, through final plat approval and recordation prior to the expiration date.”

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