SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Commissioners passed a bill this week that will allow a NASA research facility to continue operation in Newark.
The approved legislation will permit non-commercial, scientific research stations as a special exception use in areas zoned A-1 and A-2.
Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting, said NASA had been compiling weather information with a station in Newark that had been permitted as a transient use. Because the transient use classification can’t be granted for longer than two years, county staff developed a text amendment that would allow the NASA station and others like it in certain circumstances. The amendment states that facilities would have to be for the collection of weather-related data by academic, nonprofit or government entities. It also details setbacks and height requirements any proposed facility would have to adhere to.
“This installation has proved valuable to them,” Tudor said, “and they’re looking for a way to maintain that.”
Tudor said a text amendment was the only way to do that, as there was nothing in the existing zoning ordinance to address the facility.