Aiming a Population Bomb at the Bay
Eastern Shore members of the General Assembly have accused folks on our side of the Chesapeake of meddling in their business.
They don’t like the sound of alarm bells warning Baysiders of a proposed 3,200-home development on more than 1,000 acres near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
Did we mention the 100-room hotel, conference center, retail shopping center and new golf course?
All told, this development would bring another 10,000 people and 6,000 or more automobiles permanently to the Chesapeake shore in Dorchester County, in the process adding new meaning to the phrase massive development.
The charges of sticking noses into others’ business surfaced in the General Assembly last week as several members wisely sought to put the breaks on this proposal.
We’re heartened that the General Assembly is devoting itself to significant business this session rather than gambling.
And we’re pleased to see efforts to derail this gaudy, grandiose development, a gamble indeed when it comes to protecting the integrity of Chesapeake Bay.
Given the precarious state of this fragile estuary last summer’s dead zones of historic proportions and the declines in crabs, oysters and healthy rockfish this proposed new City by the Bay is a matter of general concern, not just the proprietary interest of developers and their pals in politics.
Much of the acreage is low-lying, marshy land that has no business being developed, especially not to this extent. The Eastern Shore waterfront has nowhere near this much carrying capacity, and the thought of all those lawn chemicals and sediments pouring into a fragile estuary boggles the mind.
Marylanders lament the irretrievable loss of farms. In building thousands of homes and a golf course, we’d be saying adios to hundreds of acres of agricultural land.
To make the development more attractive, Egypt Road LLC has requested special permission to build on 313 acres of Critical Area land along Little Blackwater River, which flows into the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
In Annapolis, the legislation drawing fire from the Eastern Shore politicians would force the developer to exclude those 313 acres from their plan.
A lawyer for the developer testified that the riverfront acreage was a key part of a “holistic approach” to the project.
Holistic, it would seem, in diminishing an entire ecosystem in one fell swoop.