|Letter to the Editor
appearing in Jan. 23, 2002 Bay Times:
Local government encourages growth
Last Thursday, Jan. 10, the prospective builders of Gibson's Grant gave their spiel to the Queen Anne's Zoning Board. When the presentation was finished, I felt like signing up for a unit. For a moment I was caught in a technicolor illusion of the 1950s, complete with Ozzie and Harriet and porch swings. It was a very smooth presentation. But afterwards, it dawned on me - another 750 units next to the 1,300 units of the Four Seasons project - on another 138 acres of environmentally fragile land. Once again consideration of growth allocation will be forthcoming, defeating the intent of the critical area laws, wetland and zoning ordinances. Those citizens who created the Stevensville and Chester plans never envisioned this much density or land exploitation.
The problem of over development is not the developers; they have a product to sell. The problem is the promotion and encouragement of our local government. My understanding is that the Governor's Smart Growth concept encourages growth in areas where infrastructure is in place. In this case, the infrastructure is not in place, nor is it adequately funded. If Smart Growth is to be a guideline, it should be funded by the state and not ultimately fall back to the taxpayer of the county.
If the following unanswered questions were presented when Four Seasons was challenged, then they are even more pertinent now.
Can the aquifer support and supply the necessary water? We already have salt water intrusion in many wells on the Island.
Can the Maryland Department of Transportation really project the potential traffic gridlock, especially at times of summer bridge backup and bridge closures?
How can fire and police protections be adequately handled and funded?
Gibson's Grant will create another 1,500 students. New School construction is planned, but when? And are we not saturated already?
The Kent Island dump should be interesting on Monday morning. Are funds appropriated for expansion? Do you have any idea how much trash will be generated from these two projects?
Are the sewer allotments over-allocated even after the new one million gallon per day addition? The funding for this is still up in the air. How will the sewage treatment plant handle the overflow during storm events and what is the long-range effect on the Bay?
Dr. Earl L. Chambers, Jr.
See News Article Concerning QA Chamber Opposition to Impact Fee Increase
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