In the last election, nothing could be clearer that the issue front of mind of Talbot County voters was the need for managed development. There was and is a feeling of our community being a sitting duck, at the mercy of developers who will for their own profit impose on us projects that may disrupt the traditional rural nature of our beautiful home.
The concern is also what these projects will do to demand on our schools, health care system and the implication of these demands on tax payer costs and our own access to what may already be overwhelmed systems.
Monumental efforts to make the citizens aware of the circumstances of the Lakeside and Poplar Hill Projects where they are in the approval process, decision points and opportunities for public input are only necessary because our elected officials have failed to put mechanisms in place to force these projects to slow their roll and clarify system burdens they present earlier in the process.
Without mechanisms of managed development, we can look forward to continuing public anxiety about growth and demands on community organizations to play catch up.
The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) is well known and used by communities for just such a purpose. The purpose of APFOs is to make new development approval contingent on the existence of adequate public facilities including schools and health care thus mitigating the impact of individual projects.
Councilman Pete Lesher, in a Spy interview on January 25th to explain his not putting forward the Lakeside Reset resolution said the following: “I am putting forth my efforts toward setting out a vision for the future and for improving the rule book and the vision for Talbot County with things like an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance.”
Mr. Lesher was the number on vote getter among Council candidates, surely due to his endorsement by Lakeside Reset and his identification with controlled growth. We are waiting for an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to be on the County Council agenda. The sooner the better.