Talbot Preservation Alliance, Inc.
131 North Washington Street
Easton, Maryland 21601
February 27, 2001
Mr. George M O’Donnell
Dear Commission Members,
I am writing as an individual citizen and member of the Talbot Preservation Alliance, a 400-member organization of volunteers and citizens who are concerned with the rapid growth that is occurring in an area that has traditionally been a rural area with concentrated town center development. Although I live and work in Talbot County, our two Counties share many of the same topographical characteristics and development patterns. We all, collectively, are concerned about the regional development pressures that are being exerted on our areas.
One thing that needs to be stated at the outset, is that we all share a finite resource of infinite value known as the Chesapeake Bay. This magnificent body of water unites us all and we are dependant on the health and productivity of its waters. How we develop the land around this resource has a direct affect on our ability to utilize its bounty and enjoy its beauty. Your decision on Growth Allocation will be felt for generations to come and the Growth Allocation process needs to be taken seriously so that the Bay can be safeguarded for future generations.
I ask that you vote no on the Growth Allocation for the Four Seasons Development request since this type of development, even with the 300 foot buffer, is far too dense for any site so close to the Bay. The granting of Growth Allocation is a privilege not a right and because of the finite nature of the acreage allocated, a developer requesting Growth Allocation should be required to prove that they have taken all reasonable steps to improve the water quality that is entering the Bay. I do not agree that a development of this size in the proposed location can adequately “optimize benefits to water quality” nor do I think it is consistent with the goals and Criteria of the Critical Area Program.
In addition, members of our organization have heard that the Chamber of Commerce has been active in its support of this development. Does the Chamber of Commerce play such an active role in the development and support of our resource based economy that has long been the backbone of our Eastern Shore economy? Has the Chamber of Commerce thought about a program to support the very economy that relies on the Bay for its existence? I find an incredible amount of support for new developments like this one but few initiatives to support and promote our existing watermen, farmers, maritime workers and the other resource based working men and women who have created the existing infrastructure that we all rely on.
Please keep these thoughts in mind as you consider this application. Your decision will be seen in many other jurisdictions and a prudent course of action would be moratorium on this type of development within the Critical Area. The Growth Allocation should not be given away in a manner that does not enforce the most stringent requirements possible. The Critical Area Law asks that the local jurisdiction implement its own “local” program. Perhaps a review of the local program would give the County time to set better rules and procedures that will protect the Bay and the non-human inhabitants that live on the waters edge.
Thank you for your time and I am sorry for not being able to appear at the Hearing.
Dirck K. Bartlett
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