According to Maryland Department of Planning (MDP), Talbot County’s 2020 population was about 37,526. If the Department of Environment issues its proposed groundwater sewage treatment permit # 19-DP-3460 , thereby permitting the Lakeside development to proceed, at build out in 10 years at about 2031, there will be 2501 additional residences. At the Maryland average 2.67 persons per household, this will add an additional population of about 6,677 people to Talbot County . The new Talbot population would be about 44,204. MDP had projected, without Lakeside being built, Talbot County’s population 20 years from now (2040) would be about 41,000, a growth of about 174 people per year over 20 years. If Lakeside is built as planned, the growth by 2031 would be about 668 people per year over the next 10 years, about 380 % of the MDP projected rate.
Does this difference have any realistic meaning for Talbot County?
Well, financially, it probably does. For fiscal year 2022, property taxes plus income taxes comprise $ about $ 74 million, or about 65.7 % of total county revenues. The Talbot County council approved about $ 49,971, 898.00 for education, or about 67 % of total local revenues. The county’s Fiscal Year 2022 school board- approved budget is about $60,374,913.00. There are about 4703 students in the county’s public schools, indicating a Fall, 2021 school board-estimated cost per pupil of about $13,059.00. In the 2020 census, there were about 16,425 households in the County, meaning an average of about 0.28-0.29 students per household. At this rate, if Lakeside is built as planned, with about 2501 new residential units, i.e. about 2501 new households, there would be about an additional 715 pupils in the public schools. At about $ 13,000.00 per pupil, at Lakeside build out, this would necessitate about an additional $9, 295,000.00 in the schools’ budget.
Environmentally, it probably does. The land where Lakeside would be built is primarily the upstream land, or watershed that feeds Miles Creek, which feeds the Choptank River. There are 7 non-tidal, small stream branches of those headwater streams , in the areas of Wright’s Mill Road, Backtown Road, Landing Neck Road, Piney Hill Road, Koogler Road , etc. The lands feeding four of those streams will be altered from agricultural, forested, and low density rural residential land uses to land treatment of sewage by spray irrigation, single family lots, town houses, apartments, parking , internal roadways, and commercial land uses, etc. Those streams are already impaired by excess nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment, as is the Choptank itself, according to Md. Dept. of Environment (MDE.). Although the development will certainly employ sediment traps, stormwater ponds, rain gardens, and other urban stormwater management measures, runoff carrying oils, greases, lawn chemicals, lawn fertilizers, etc. will almost certainly increase.
Further, If Lakeside is built as planned, at a U.S. average of 1.88 vehicles per household, it means that there would be about 4,700 additional vehicles in the Trappe area. At an average 1,875 vehicle trips per household per year, it means that there would be an extra approximately 4,664, 365 vehicle trips per year in Talbot County.
It means that at an average one-way vehicle trip of 8.56 miles, Lakeside could generate roughly 329,269,644 additional miles traveled per year in Talbot County.
It means that, at an EPA average of 0.89 lb of greenhouse gases per passenger car mile, Lakeside could generate approximately 359,349,983 lb. ( 177,675 tons) of additional carbon dioxide in the Trappe area of Talbot County.
According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, in 2017 about 1/3 of the nitrogen polluting the Bay comes from atmospheric deposition as nitrogen oxides (NOx) or ammonionids; already by 2013, passenger vehicles contributed over ½ the carbon monoxides and NOx pollution.
Nick Carter (retired MD-DNR biologist)