Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When do we get serious about protecting the Bay?

In light of the unanimous but irresponsible decision of the Baltimore County Council to phase out the fees for stormwater run-off, the decision that the State Board of Public Works today, weighs doubly: Will they allow a wetleands permit for over 1000 dwelling units to be constructed in the tidal buffer that has been established around the Chesapeake to protect its waters. Recent studies show that those buffers are even more important than previously imagined. However, each jurisdiction had been granted a cretain amount of exceptions for construction inside of these buffers. The question is, if Queen Anne's County should allst its entire allowance to be used for one of the most egregiously wrong developments that has come up in recent years and has been rejected before when O'Malley had the deciding vote on the Public Works Board.
Sun photo of activist fighting the Four Seasons development

I wrote this note to Comptroller Franchot and Tresurer Nancy Kopp yesterday:

Dear Comptroller Franchot, As someone who worked as a consultant on a Chester/Stevensville masterplan in 2009, I am quite familiar with the growing pains oft Kent Island and with how contentious the growth related issues have been for years among residents, the local government and State agencies. In spite of all the good principles of local land use control, areas like Kent Island need to respond to a larger responsibility, namely the one to the quality of the Chesapeake Bay, the role of the Eastern Shore overall in light of tenuous transportation connections and the threat of rising sea levels to name just a few issues that are larger than an individual jurisdiction. Democrats in this State have a long and good tradition of trying to manage growth in a responsible way. I have served under Governors Schafer and Glendening on the MD Growth Commission (subcommittee on Planning Techniques) and have been a founding member of the 1000 Friends of Maryland. As a planner and architect I have to say that the Four Seasons development has been the wrong development in the wrong place all along and newer insights in the importance of undisturbed shore lines (Clean Water Blueprint) for water quality reinforce the stand that previous administrations took on the matter as correct. I implore you vote against giving this development a wetlands permit.  
Klaus Philipsen, FAIA 

It is about time we really protect our environment if for nothing else but our own well being as the human species.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

Baltimore SUN article about the Four Seasons project

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