Op-Ed: The Talbot County Council Voted the Wrong Way on Chapter 190 of the County Code by Naomi Hyman

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The Talbot County Comprehensive Plan’s stated goal is “to promote a high quality of life, to preserve the rural character of County and to protect the health, safety and well-being of its citizens in a resilient community.”

The Next Step 190 website notes that the County Council decided to update Chapter 190 of the County Code (the official document that regulates growth, development and preservation within Talbot County) “specifically to ensure that the Comprehensive Plan is implemented in an efficient manner.”

So how did we end up with a Code revision that permits more development, more and louder amplified outdoor music and unlimited short-term rentals—even after an extraordinary level of public comment that overwhelming rejected those changes?

Why were amendments to limit new event venues with amplified outdoor music, maintain our current 55db noise level, limit or otherwise control short-term rentals, and curtail development rejected without serious consideration?

I can only speculate as to the reasons why a consistent majority of the current council chose to vote as they did. But the end result is legislation that is inconsistent with the stated goals of the Comprehensive Plan, the objective of the Chapter 190 code revision and the overwhelming majority of those who attempted to have a voice in the future of our County.

While I don’t always agree with Ms. Price and Mr. Bartlett, as it pertains to 190, I want to commend them for their efforts to serve their constituents and the stated goals of this process in the face of unrelenting opposition.

The opportunity to influence the outcome of these deliberations is over, but there is one more option for public comment, and that is on Election Day. If this is not the future you seek for Talbot County, make your wishes known at the ballot box on November 6th.

Naomi Hyman is a candidate for Talbot County Council and lives in Easton.

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Letters to Editor

  1. David Lloyd says:

    Ms Price and Mr Bartlett are indeed to be thanked!! They were the only two members of the Council to listen to their constituents. I attended two of the hearings. Virtually all those who testified express concern that, without tightening the regulations, there would be a significant increase in short-term rentals which, together with louder noise to be permitted (under another amendment), would be detrimental to all of us who value our wonderful Talbot County living!

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