Decision on biggering Huntingtown delayed until June 4th

BoCC halted their discussion on expanding Huntingtown Town Center across MD 4 and plan to pick it up again at the June 4, 2019 BoCC meeting beginning at 10am.  (When the meeting agenda is released after Memorial Day, it will be here and show a more precise time for this topic.  Just pop in at that time.) We urge you to attend. You can speak directly to the BoCC during the public comment period. You can also e-mail your five elected commissioners here:   commiss@calvertcountymd.gov

Why is this important? Expanding our TC means those lands will no longer be zoned mostly residential district or rural community district. They will instead be zoned Town Center district, which can have much larger retail/commercial establishments. (Think drive through or gas station.)  Town Center district can also have much greater density housing than it’s current zoning. (Think multi-family dwellings.) How will those things affect your drive through the traffic at the MD 4 and Cox Rd interesection?

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“Can you hear me now?”

We are starting to feel like we’ve got terrible cell reception. Our Huntingtown friends and neighbors submitted 88 comments on the 2nd draft and 72 comments on the current 3rd draft of the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan.  No one seemed to ask for or want to expand Huntingtown Town Center(TC) across MD 4 at the Cox Rd intersection, yet this idea popped up in the 1st draft anyway.

The Planning Commission (PC) appointed by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) forwarded the current 3rd draft with Huntingtown TC only expanding to include the High School property. We felt this was a slippery slope towards further expansion, and in fact we are slipping…

The BOCC agenda for next Tues 05/14/2019 has agenda item IV on the Comp Plan with a powerpoint. Check out page Huntingtown TC on page 10, where they depict reverting back to adding in all the property south of HHS to the Cox Rd intersection and south of the intersection. Who is the BOCC listening to? It does not seem to be the Huntingtown citizens that have written in comments, spoken at public hearings or participated in the workshops at the birth of this plan. See below for proposed maps.

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Will Huntingtown Town Center expand across MD 4 at Cox Rd? Find out April 30th, 2019 at 7pm…

Next Tuesday April 30th at 7pm could be the end of the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan process.  The Board of Count Commissioners (BOCC) gave themselves the authority to make ANY changes they wish to the Plan, accept the plan as is, or send it back to the PC for more work. This could happen at the Comp Plan public hearing set for 7pm on Tuesday April 30th at the Calvert Pines Senior Center in Prince Frederick. That is why you need to be there; to speak directly to the 5 BOCC members on how you feel Huntingtown should or should not be developed.

Why does this matter to us in Huntingtown you ask?

Huntingtown Town Center, currently only on the west side of Rt 4, is supposed to be a walkable, friendly town area. But it is set to expand to the east side of Rt 4 to include Huntingtown High school in the current Plan. Is this a slippery slope?  Will the BOCC revert back to previous proposals, NOT made by Huntingtown residents, to also include properties south of the High school along Rt 4 and Cox Rd. Would the member who owns property in this strip and likely to benefit financially from that move recuse himself from the voting?

Why is this a big deal you ask?  Property in a Town Center can be developed greater and with more residential density than property outside a Town Center. So the private houses, old nursery and small businesses could instantly become way bigger commercial retail spaces, gas stations, etc. How would that affect your commute through Rt 4 at the Cox Rd intersection? Can your high school kids navigate through that safely?

Hundreds of people have submitted comments on this Plan, but have those letters been read and listened to?  Our last count had over 700 comments on this current Plan draft with about 15% coming from Huntingtown citizens. Have you been heard? The majority of writers, with the exception of a handful, want to keep Huntingtown that way it is, a small friendly community of people who recognize each other when they stop in for ice cream or see each other at the ball fields.

(Send your comments in here by 4/29 to be in the record, but let’s face it. You had better come in person on 4/30 and speak your comments out load to be sure they are heard by the BOCC.)

And this does not even touch the iceberg of things in the Comp Plan that might affect you:

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Speak tomorrow at Public Hearing!

Tomorrow is Tuesday Feb 26th, 2019. It might be the day that seals our fate; affecting the quality of life as we know it in both Calvert County and Huntingtown.
Tomorrow at 7pm at the Calvert Pines Senior Center in Prince Frederick is the public hearing with the Planning Commission(PC) about the Comprehensive Plan. Anyone can sign up to speak, either for themselves or a bit longer if representing a group, HOA or organization.
Is the Plan Important? Y E S ! Every county organization from the BOCC on down uses it to create their policies, ordinances, budget, etc… It even has State and Federal implications as it’s references when we request grants and funding.
The number of kids in a classroom, how many apartments can be built on an acre, will we get a Bay Bridge crossing, economic development, new government office building spending, etc… All should be addressed in the Plan. Is it?

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Why your vote matters to Huntingtown on Nov 6, 2018.

Exercise your privilege as a citizen of the United States of America and cast your ballot this week on Election Day, Tuesday November 6, 2018! True, there is no Presidential election this year, but there are races right here in Calvert County that will have a lasting impact on your every day life.

Visit this site from Maryland Board of Elections to enter in your address and find your polling location. All polls are open on Tuesday, Nov 6th from 7am to 8pm.  If you want to check your address of record, look it up here.

Calvert County is run by five members of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Two of them are at-large members who can hail from anywhere in the county.  The other three members must live in one of each of the districts: North 003, Middle 002, or South 001. (Use this interactive map to see which district you are in. ** ) As a voter, you choose one candidate in each of the three districts, and two candidates from the at-large candidates. Remember, that it takes only 3 of the 5 commissioners to vote on something for it to pass. So you need to choose wisely concerning all your commissioner selections.

These BOCC commissioners will finish up the Comprehensive Plan, and decide things like the expansion of Huntingtown across MD 2/4 at the Cox Rd intersection, if Dunkirk expands to become a Major Town Center like Prince Frederick, if Lusby & Solomons are combined together to form one huge Major Town Center, and if residential areas around town centers get increased housing density.

The site www.Vote411.org will show you a list of candidates in each race with their photos, bio, and responses to a few key questions.  You pick which candidate(s) you want and it will print out a personalized ballot for you to bring with you on election day.

The Sustainable Calvert Network conducted a forum and asked Board of County Commissioner (BOCC) candidates questions concerning preserving our rural character. Not all candidates responded, but those that did have their responses here.

Local newspapers like the Calvert Recorder and Calvert County Times published information on all candidates and the local political party web site also have info on candidates.

Please encourage your Huntingtown friends & neighbors to vote too!

Stay informed with Huntingtown information by following us on Twitter or FB , visiting our website www.Huntingtowncitizensassociation.com, or contacting us by e-mail at huntingtowncitizens@gmail.com

**For Huntingtown, you are likely in District 002 if you live on the west side of MD 2/4 .  If you live on the east side of MD 2/4 you are in District 003 with Dunkirk and Owings, but only if you live north of Plum Point Rd. South of Plum Point Rd is District 002 again, which extends south past Prince Frederick. District 001 area begins in St Leonard and goes south to include CRE, Lusby and Solomons.

Don’t be a ghost…tell them what you think by Friday 10/26/2018.

We have 2 days until Friday 10/26/2018, 4pm to send in comments on Chapter 3 (Land Use) of the Comprehensive Plan(The Plan). E-mail  comments with “Comp Plan 2040” in the subject line to:  pz@calvertcountymd.gov

WHY?

The Comp Plan is THE POLICY DOCUMENT for Calvert County.  The Planning Commission (PC), the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and all departments use it to create the zoning ordinance, evaluate development projects and create town specific plans. Speak up now or forever hold your peace (until 10 years from now).

Chapter 3 Land Use begins on pg33 in this PDF of the Comp Plan and ends on pg58.

By 2040 Calvert will have at least 100,450 residents in 37,600 households. What will happen if Town Center borders are expanded, AND the density in them is increased, AND more Major Town Center are added AND the residential area around Town Centers also have increased density ? (Page 42, 3-10.)

What would your commute be like if Dunkirk becomes a Major Town Center(TC) like Prince Frederick? Could you get south over the bridge to work near PAX if both Lusby and Solomons are combined into one big Major TC?

How many more vehicles will be jamming up traffic?  Can our roads accommodate those vehicles in an emergency? Can our volunteer firefighters & EMS keep up with their calls for service?  If not, how much more would $$$ would we pay in taxes when our all volunteer unpaid fire and EMS crews become paid?

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Will Comp Plan affect Huntingtown? HCA meeting 7pm Tues 10/23 @ HVFD.

Join the Huntingtown Citizens Association (HCA) on Tuesday October 23rd from 7pm-8:30pm at the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Dept to hear how the 2040 Draft of the Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) will affect Huntingtown residents.  We will bring the plan and local maps for an informal question and answer session. We’ve attended all the meetings, and will share what we have learned.. Please park in the rear of the HVFD building, enter near the picnic benches and go upstairs to the small meeting room at the end of the hall. View our Facebook page here and like to follow.

Plan to discuss things like possible expansion of the Huntingtown Town Center borders, developer funded water and sewer service, residential density increases, how changing Dunkirk from minor to Major Town Center will affect us, as well as any other concerns you might have. Can’t attend? Please share this with a neighbor or friend and ask the to come, especially those who might not be internet users.

Comments on Chapter 3 of the Comp Plan on Land Use are due this Friday October 26th to the Planning Commission by e-mail to pz@calvertcountymd.gov. (Please put “Comp Plan” in the subject line. ) You can find the entire draft here. Scroll to section 3-1 on page 33 for the start of Chapter 3 on Land Use.

This will be your LAST chance to share your thoughts and comments on the Plan, before a final version is made, sent out to local and state agencies for a 60 day review period and before a joint Planning Commission (PC) and Board of Count Commissioners (BOCC) hearing is scheduled. Though 2 minutes of comment per citizen are allowed at that meeting, at that point the document is all but finished and comments are likely ineffective.

 

Meet the BOCC candidates tomorrow; Monday 10/15 @ 6pm

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This is tomorrow!!  Meet & Greet of BOCC candidates begins at 6pm. The location is the County Fairgrounds at 140 Calvert Fair Dr, Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678. This might be your last chance to meet candidates in person and hear their ideas for the preservation of rural lands in Calvert. Be a more educated voter on Nov 6th!

Please tell a friend or neighbor about this.  Can’t attend?  Click here for candidate responses to prelim questions.

Type in your exact address at vote411.org and find out which races you can vote in. Click on each candidate and find a bio and short answers to basic questions. Click the candidate you can to vote for and it will print out a sample ballot with your selections.

Coming up…

10/17:  Planning Commission (PC) regular meeting review of Ch 7 Transportation (TRAFFIC) of the 2nd Draft of the Comprehensive Plan at Harriet E. Brown Community Center, 901 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick. See citizen’s comments thus far at this link.

10/23:  Huntingtown Citizens Association (HCA) meeting on Tuesday October 23rd 7-8:30pm at the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Dept. Park in the rear, enter the building near the picnic benches and go upstairs to the small meeting room at the end of the hall. We will share info on how the Comprehensive Plan 2040 2nd draft might affect you as a Huntingtown Resident. View our Facebook page here and like to follow.

 

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.

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Water from your faucet & our local environment?

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 pz@calvertcountymd.gov  (“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)

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