If you care about Calvert County’s Environmental, Natural and Water Resources and want to make sure our plan for the next 20 years protects these, start reading and writing now. Mistakes and oversights in the conservation of these thing are often permanently damaging and irreversible. We need to get it right the first time.
You only have until this Friday August 31 close of business(COB) to e-mail the Planning Commission at email@example.com (“Calvert 2040 comments” in the subject line) on these topics of the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan, May 2018 draft. (Comments on Government & Community Facilities are also due.) This is because at 7pm on Wednesday Sept 19, 2018 the Planning Commission will be “discussing” these subjects. The meeting is at Harriet Brown Community Center, 901 Dares Beach Rd in Prince Frederick and open to the public.
We will help you get that done. You can find the whole Comp Plan 2018 Draft here, and jump ahead to the page numbers we identify. Page 59 for Env’t & Natural Resources and to page 124 for Water Resources. Below are some highlights & lowlights, including page numbers, to speed your reading:
- Establishment or expansion of sewer systems in Town Centers. Huntingtown is a Town Center (Pg 133)
- A 2014 study found “levels in Calvert’s aquifers have decreased by between 61 and 199 feet as increases in pumping…have caused groundwater levels to continually decline which could affect the availability of drinking water…in Calvert County” (Pg 126). Arsenic in well water (Pg 129)
- “The most prevalent pollutants within Calvert County’s watershed are nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment” and “the county’s major point-source polluters are wastewater treatment plants.” (Pg 66)
- Hunting Creek Watershed Management Plan was last updated in 1993…25 years ago. A stream survey indicating 56% of County streams were in poor or very poor condition. (Pg 63)
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have identified 20 animal and 83 plant species as Rare, Threatened and Endangered in Calvert (Pg 60)
- 65% of forest interior habitat is threatened by development (Pg 68)
- Calvert County does meet the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (pg 70)
- Nuclear waste from Calvert Cliffs Power Plant is currently stored on site because a federal repository is not yet available (Pg 72)
The Government & Community Facilities chapter will also be addressed on 9/91 with comments due this Friday 8/31. In Comp Plan 2018 Draft , jump ahead to page 140. If Calvert FY 2017 budget provided more than $5 million for land preservation (Pg 142) then why did it place a moratorium on the creation of new Agricultural Preservation districts (APD) in 2013 (Pg 36) and why have we not reached the goal of preserving 40,000 total acres of prime forest and farmland set in 1997…twenty one years ago? We had been at the rate of preserving 1,000 acres per year since the first goals were set forty years ago in 1978. The APD moratorium also meant no opportunity for new participants in the Purchase and Retirement Program(PAR).
- If you want to know more about Transfer Development Rights(TDR’s) and the history of their value, start on page 36 and 37.
- Is your property covered by the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Act? (Pg 37)
- How are our finances and budgets? (Pg 142)
- On page 143 there is references to a twenty three year old 1995 study in California on sprawl, though authors don’t give proper citation credit to the study or who wrote it.
- Do you have kids? Page 144 talks about the CCPS, student enrollment and then higher education in the County.
- Are you a senior? Page 147 has a mere 2 sentences for you. Only 2!! Considering current populations trends, can this possible be a comprehensive and well written section?
- Are you concerned about public safety? Page 149 addresses fire, EMS and law enforcement. Where does that trash go from the dump? Page 151 talks about that.
Are you exhausted yet just reading all of this? How on earth are six Planning Commission members supposed to read all this, understand and research it, as well as read ALL the hundreds of citizen comments that come in…all in about 3 weeks? (Link to citizen comments) Those people have real jobs and family lives too. It seems impossible to us. But in order to stay on track to getting this Comprehensive Plan done and voted on before a new BOCC is sworn in early December, we must rush through it and get it done. Hurry up! Does that sound right to you?