PRINCE FREDERICK, MD. -- Calvert County commissioners, wrestling with the demand for schools that has accompanied the rapid growth spurt in Southern Maryland, are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to charge developers $1,000 to $3,000 per house for the rights to build in the county.

All of the money raised by the fees would go to the county school system, which officials said needs to add at least four schools in the next four years. The draft ordinance also directs that the county be divided into districts and that impact fee revenue be spent only within the district in which it is collected.

If the commissioners vote for the proposal, Calvert would become the latest in a growing number of Maryland jurisdictions to support such impact fees. Anne Arundel County voted last year to charge builders nearly $3,000 for each new house and nearly $2,000 for each 1,000 square feet of new office space. The money would go toward road and school construction.

St. Mary's County began imposing impact fees in 1972. The rate is now $500 for each house, with $300 designated for parks and recreation projects, according to Robin Guyther, the county deputy director of planning. Officials there said they are considering raising the fee.

Since 1974, Charles County has collected impact fees of up to $750 from some developments, said Jacqueline Magness, the head of the county planning office. Impact fees, also, are imposed in two small sections of Montgomery County, where they run about $1,500 per house.

In addition, officials in Prince George's County are considering impact fees.

Calvert's draft fee ordinance would charge developers $3,000 for a single-family house, $2,000 for a town house, $1,000 for a low-rise apartment and $1,500 for a mobile home.

Although impact fees often raise protests from developers, the proposal here has won general approval from civic organizations, businesses and developers. About 50 residents turned out for a public hearing on the issue this month, but only eight people asked to speak about the proposal. Most of them favored it.

Denny Murray, president of the Bay Mill Construction Co. and one of the prominent builders in the county, spoke in support of the proposal at the hearing. Although he opposed the stipulation that the revenue be spent only in the area collected, he said he sees the fee as a way for the "We just had to do something . . . . The residential development base is very high and the commercial base is very low."

-- Greg Bowen assistant planning director

county to build the schools necessary to handle the population growth. He suggested that the fees be raised to collect the school money faster.

The fee, he said, will have a limited effect on development "because Calvert County has a lot to offer and I must have decent schools to offer my customers."

Commissioner William T. Bowen said he expected the proposal to pass. "I would feel that based on the discussions we've had, and because of the need {for revenue} that, in my best judgment, the ordinance will be adopted," he said.

However, at the hearing, Brooks Grady, a representative of the Southern Maryland Builders Association, raised some concerns about specific parts of the proposal. He urged the commissioners to exempt recreation homes or second homes from the fee. He argued that people coming to recreational areas of the county, such as Solomon's Island and other waterfront communities, do not use the schools and their houses should not be subject to the fees.

He also asked the commissioners to impose the fee late in the development process so builders do not have to commit so much capital early in the project.

The impact fee vote follows the commissioners' decision this month to set regulations on adequate public facilities. The regulations restrict developments or subdivisions until officials can certify that roads and schools are adequate to handle the new residents within two years.

"We just had to do something," said Greg Bowen, the county's assistant planning director. "The problem in Calvert County is that the residential development base is very high and the commercial base is very low. We are a bedroom community." That ratio creates problems because the amount of taxes collected in residential areas does not cover the cost of services for those areas. Most governments rely on taxes collected from business to help make up the difference.

Calvert County, the smallest county in area in the state, grew from 34,638 residents in 1980 to 43,700 in 1986, according to the state planning office. That figure is expected to grow to 49,000 by 1990. More than half of the work force commutes to jobs outside the county.

It is located in the Southern Maryland peninsula, and officials said its lack of major roads has hampered the county's efforts to attract an industrial base. The primary industry here is the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant.

One of the main concerns among officials and residents in recent years is trying to handle the growth in the school system, which has seen enrollment increase from 7,793 in 1985 to 8,926 today.. Bowen said that last year alone, the system added 600 students.