At the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Board of Commissioners proposed draft legislation that would ban plastic drinking straws and stirrers at all Charles County restaurants and businesses. The draft bill is intended to reduce waste, protect the environment, and keep plastics out of waterways. Commissioners are seeking public input on the content of the bill, which defines materials considered to be plastic drinking straws, enforcement actions, and an implementation date of Jan. 1, 2020. Commissioners set a public hearing on the issue to receive public comments on Oct. 16.

Commissioners also proposed draft legislation to require septic risers for all new home construction that rely on private, onsite septic systems. Approximately half of all Charles County residents have private, onsite septic systems. Current owners will be encouraged, but not required to obtain septic risers. The legislation would provide reimbursement of up to $100 (based on available funding) for current homeowners who voluntarily install a septic riser. Septic risers would make septic tanks more visible and encourages homeowners to ensure that their septic tanks are regularly and properly cleaned and less costly to maintain.

Open Session Briefings 

  • Commissioners presented several amendments to the proposed Indian Head Science and Technology Park conservation easement and scheduled a second public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 23 to receive public comments.
  • Staff presented information on an applicant-driven request for a zoning text amendment in the Core Employment Residential (CER) zone. The amendment would change the rear setback requirement from 50 feet to 20 feet for commercial uses. It would also eliminate the two-story minimum requirement for service and commercial uses. Commissioners approved a request for a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
  • Staff presented proposed amendments to the Adequate Public Facilities Manual regarding the bulk school allocations policy. School capacity needs are determined by the county’s projected growth and based on planned residential developments. Commissioners approved the request for a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
  • Staff presented information about a proposed bond sale of $60 million to pay for capital projects including sewer and road projects, school construction, stormwater management, and other investments. Commissioners approved a request for a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
  • County Administrator Michael D. Mallinoff, Esq., ICMA-CM presented an update on the County Government’s progress during July and August. He highlighted recent awards and recognitions, reviewed major accomplishments, and shared highlights on several county priorities, including economic development, capital improvement projects, public safety, and community services.
  • Animal Control staff presented an update on county’s partnership with the Charles County Humane Society. Charles County Animal Control has Memorandums of Understanding with the Humane Society to provide satellite sheltering, disaster assistance, and injured or stray animal care. It is anticipated that these services will be provided directly by county staff when a new Charles County Animal Shelter officially opens in 2020.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Steve Kaii-Ziegler presented an update on the department’s planned transition to EnerGov software that will be used for online permitting processes. The department will be closed to the public from Oct. 17-19 to prepare for the transition.

Approval Items 
Commissioners approved an agreement between the Tri-County Animal Shelter and the College of Southern Maryland to launch an internship program for students in the veterinary assistants program. Students would be able to intern at the shelter and gain practical experience in providing animal care. It would also benefit the shelter by providing intern support at no cost to the county.

The Commissioners also approved the following items:

  • $400,000 inter-category budget transfer request from the Charles County Board of Education, which would move savings from student health and personnel services to pay for variances in the cost of student transportation.
  • $106,000 inter-category budget transfer request from the Charles County Board of Education, due to increased revenue reimbursement from the federal government for food nutrition services. The program served more students last year due to growing enrollment and received additional federal revenues to pay for the costs of delivering this service.
  • $124,900 transfer from transportation capital outlay for the purchase of two buses, to transportation special revenues and shelters. A grant award was received to purchase the buses so funds were transferred to pay for enhancements to bus shelters, purchase of a specialized vehicle, and additional bus trips for residents who need transportation to dialysis centers.


  • Commissioners presented a proclamation recognizing Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month, which recognizes the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the Charles County Public School English as a Second Language Program’s heritage and culture. View proclamation photo in Flickr.

Next Commissioners Meeting: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m.

Upcoming Public Hearings 

Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.

For More Information: 

Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming at Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted at upon approval.