Comprehensive Plan Draft Meets Citizen Pushback at Public Hearing

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With standing room only in the Talbot County Free Library, Easton branch meeting room Monday night, a long line of citizens waited their turn to present tough, and sometimes stinging criticism of the current draft for the 2015 Talbot County Comprehensive Plan to County Council members.

Lasting just over two hours, the public hearing seemed to demonstrate significant concern from residents living on or near Route 33, including towns like Royal Oak,Wittman, and other small communities, that the proposed document would open Talbot’s peninsula to more development. Many testified this would create more traffic and pose a safety risk for speedy evacuation of the Bay Hundred region during severe storms or hurricanes.

The Spy was there to capture some of the highlights from citizen comments.

This video is approximately one hour in length and was co-produced by MCTV.

Letters to Editor

  1. Richard Marks says:

    One of the many joys living within or even just visiting Talbot County is the opportunity to witness it’s pastoral beauty while cycling. I have been fortunate to experience this feeling for the better part of the thirty-eight years as a resident and have been known on many occasions to remark to fellow cyclists that given a few rolling hills and a vineyard or two we would have as much to offer as Tuscany. Sadly, however, at a time where cycling has become more popular and more bike touring groups come here, there are now roads in our county that despite having less obstructed vision turns than in Tuscany, are truly not safe for cyclists. My first residence in 1976 was in Oxford and biked the loop (Oxford-Easton-Royal Oak-Bellevue) frequently. Now, living in Easton I avoid Rt 33, Rt 329 and Bellevue Road completely. In fact, two years ago, cyclists from our bike group convinced TIS to move their annual Shelter Ride Fundraiser away from St. Michaels because we were so concerned about the unsafe conditions on the routes they were using. Interestingly, the routes are not unsafe because the roads are narrow. In fact, with the exception of downtown St. Michael’s, most of Rt 33 has a shoulder. The danger comes from the amount of traffic which continues to grow as our county becomes more of a destination for tourists.

    I encourage our county council to step back and conduct more studies before making changes to our comprehensive plan. While many people who spoke last evening at the public forum reside in the 25 mile (Pinocchio’s Nose) corridor, there are many more residents throughout the county that will also be negatively impacted if the growth and density is not properly managed.

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