Sept 19: Calvert’s water, nature & gov’t.

Do our aquifers have enough water for our future?

Are we going to protect our natural resources and undeveloped lands?

Is the best place for a new county office building at Armory Square?

Calvert County’s Natural & Water Resources as well as Government chapters are the topics of discussion next week at the Wednesday September 19, 2018 Planning Commission(PC) review of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan draft.  Come hear if or how the PC incorporates the many citizen comments submitted on this topic at 7pm at the Harriet Brown Community Center, 901 Dares Beach Rd in Prince Frederick.

Comments were due for these topics 8/31/2018. If you missed that deadline, go to the next page for info on the next chapters to be reviewed. 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) Does that mean we will have public sewer?
  • 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 9/19. Comments were due Friday 8/31. In Comp Plan 2018 Draft , jump ahead to page 140.

  • Do you have kids in county schools? 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.
  • 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.)

Your next deadline is 9/28/2018 28 close of business(COB). That is when comments on Ch 3 Land use & Ch 7 Transportation are due to the Planning Commission via e-mail pz@calvertcountymd.gov  (“Calvert 2040 comments” in the subject line). THESE ARE THE CRITICAL CHAPTERS. Will Dunkirk be a Major or Minor Town Center. Does that mean an increase in development and traffic jams for commuters through there?

Land Use and Transportation will be discussed at the 10/17/2018 Planning Commission meeting. HCA will review those and share high and low lights later this week.

Are you exhausted yet just reading all of this? How on earth are six Planning Commission members supposed to read all this, as well as read ALL the hundreds of citizen comments that come in…all in about 2 weeks?  (Link to citizen comments)  Those people have real jobs and families too. It seems impossible.  But in order to stay on track to getting this Comprehensive Plan done and voted on, we must rush through it and get it done. Hurry up! Does that sound right to you?

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