HRPDC staff, in collaboration with local government representatives, developed materials and a mapping tool to help inform residents about the importance of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) areas. Homes along tidal creeks or rivers and the area beside the waterfront are likely protected by the CBPA. Since 1988, the CBPA has protected waterways by safeguarding the trees, grasses, bushes, and shrubs living close to the water. These natural features of the shoreline protect local water quality and should not be disturbed by new development or certain landscaping practices.
As people continue to stay home and look around their yards more frequently, they may find that they have to consult with a local government representative to obtain permission for certain home and yard improvement projects. A new page has been launched on askHRGreen’s website that provides some history and background as well as “Good to Know” and “Good to Do” tips for homeowners looking to make home improvements on their property. This website shares best practices, links to materials and other websites that may be helpful, and links to contacts at local governments that may assist homeowners with any permissions or requirements that need to be fulfilled.
In addition to the homeowner outreach page, staff also developed an interactive mapping application that residents can use to help determine if their property is in the CBPA area. The easy-to-use application only requires an address to enter into the search box. The map then zooms to the property and displays the CBPA area. If the property is within the CBPA area, then a link is generated directing the homeowner to the correct contact within their local government to obtain more information. Sometimes a property is only partially within the CBPA area or very near to it so the application suggests that the homeowner still reach out to their locality for more information and guidance.