It is apparent to all—most especially our elected officials—that citizens of Talbot County want action to rein in excessive, exploitive development, most especially projects dependent on special treatment, exceptions, waivers and, in the case of Lakeside, clearly identified improprieties.
Stop Poplar Hill Up Front
The outcry against Poplar Hill is deep and wide, and the reasons for opposition are rock solid. Attend the Planning Commission meeting at 9 am on Wednesday at the Bradley Room; send in your comments; follow up with the County Council if a Growth Allocation award gets that far. That is the County’s one point of control; but for Growth Allocation, Poplar Hill is entirely in the hands of the Town of Easton.
And Fix Lakeside Now
Because of a May 9th letter from the Maryland Department of Environment (spurred, it’s believed, by issues raised in TIP’s lawsuit against MDE), the County Council suddenly has the opportunity to fix Lakeside—that is, to assure that, rather than already having greenlighted the entire 2501 home development, each new phase of development beyond the first 120 houses must come back to the County for a new determination, including two rounds of public hearings and a review by the Planning Commission and the County Council.
In the same way that “Growth Allocation” is the County’s control point at Poplar Hill, at Lakeside the “Sewer Service Map” is the key. Both are wonky, in-the-weeds issues, but what you need to know is that each provides the lever whereby the citizens of Talbot County, acting through their elected Council, have some control over decisions inside of Towns…decisions that fundamentally affect the rural character and quality of life throughout the entire County!
The Council is already well aware of MDE’s directive to provide a single, proper map correcting past errors and improprieties. Hopefully, the sewer map that the Staff comes up with initially will accomplish what is needed: assurance that only those first 120 lots are designated as “immediate priority” in the wonky nomenclature. (MDE has directed that an old inappropriate map (Map 24) be jettisoned.)
If the Council does this properly, the rest of Lakeside cannot then proceed without a new County review at each step; that was also the goal of Ms. Mielke’s recent Resolution 338, thought it seems overtaken by MDE’s letter.
The Fix Lakeside Initiative
To remind our County Council, and the world at large, that Talbot citizens are passionate in their desire that the Council fix Lakeside (resisting exploitation evident at Poplar Hill too), a committee of concerned citizens, working with and through the Talbot Integrity Project, intend to be very visible, simply encouraging the County Council to do the right thing in this situation. (This re-mapping issue is new, and at this point no Council Member has indicated any inclination not to correct the errors and improprieties of the past.)
It’s important that citizen attention be visible, and you are encouraged to join us today!
Just go to this site— fixlakeside.com– -to have your voice heard. On the site you can…
- GET A YARD SIGN…though it’s easier for everyone if you just pick up one or two at RiseUp Coffee on Dover Street—they’re free! (We do need volunteers to help get out the yard signs…they’re ready to go!)
- SIGN THE FIX LAKESIDE PETITION
- EMAIL THE COUNCIL
- DONATE…an organized effort, and those yard signs, come at a cost!
- VOLUNTEER…there may be more to do!
Again, that’s fixlakeside.com.
What’s at stake at Poplar Hill and at Lakeside and whatever project comes afterwards is simply the future of Talbot County…whether it remains the unique, rural environment most want, or morphs into just another sprawl community like every other.
The Committee to Fix Lakeside
Dan Watson, TIP