What is the Critical Area and can I build there?
The Chesapeake Bay Critical Area is the area 1,000 feet landward of tidal waters and tidal wetlands. In addition, certain park, floodplain and wetland areas beyond 1,000 feet from the head of tide are included in the Critical Area in Harford County. Development is permitted within the Critical Area, however, specific regulations restrict the intensity of development. Critical Area regulations require that specific resources not be disturbed by development and that others may be disturbed if mitigation is provided.

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1. What is the Natural Resource District and how will it affect my property?
2. How can I determine if an area is NRD?
3. How far from a stream may I build and why are stream buffers necessary?
4. What is the Critical Area and can I build there?
5. I am placing a shed and/or pool in my backyard. Is there anything that I need to do to comply with the Critical Area Program?
6. I have dead trees in my backyard that are right next to the water. Can I remove them? How about the healthy trees that block my view?
7. I own an undeveloped piece of land in a Resource Conservation Area; can I build a home on this land?