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Reject Blackwater Resort Communities development,


Guest CBF
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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is urging the Cambridge Planning and Zoning Commission to reject the revised plan for the Blackwater Resort Communities development, because it lacks critical information requested by CBF, the public, and the State. At many town hall meetings and public hearings, CBF and the public have testified to their concerns about the project, including the lack of a detailed stormwater plan, a water quality study, and an analysis of impacts from the golf course. The revised plan does not address any of these issues.

 

“This project remains the wrong project in the wrong place. The revised plan does nothing to alter that conclusion,” said Alan Girard, CBF Heart of the Chesapeake Project manager. “We don’t know any more than we did before. The project still lacks any scientific data or precise plans to establish that it will not harm the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding environment.”

 

CBF, citizens, and other organizations have called for a long-term water quality study of the Little Blackwater River; a detailed stormwater management plan and analysis; a study of the pollution impacts from the proposed golf course; and a detailed land disturbance and grading plan.

 

“The sensitivity of the natural resources in this region demands that these studies, analyses, and plans be done before any project decision is made,” Girard said. “No one can reach a logical conclusion that this project, with its tremendous size and scope, will not cause harm absent the completion of this work.”

 

A proposed watershed study, which the Dorchester County Council in previous meetings said would start in the spring, still has not begun. Other requests remain unfulfilled, such as the Maryland Department of Planning’s request in April for a Phase I archaeological study. The Maryland Historical Trust files show that a prehistoric archaeological site, once part of the Choptank Indian Reservation, is within the proposed development area. Citizens and other organizations have asked for studies about the project’s potential effect on traffic, schools, public services, and farmland, none of which have been provided.

 

The Cambridge Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the revised plans at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, at the American Legion, 601 Radiance Drive. The revised plans decrease the number of homes from 3,200 to 2,671; the Egypt Road development still calls for a golf course, hotel and conference center, and retail center, all within the Critical Area, and only a few miles north of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The plans were revised after the Dorchester County Council required that the developer remove all the homes in the Critical Area, a condition of receiving 313 acres of growth allocation, the largest in Maryland history.

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