Greetings from a concerned county citizen. I have been sitting here trying to think of a reasonable argument to make to you regarding your role in the future build-out of the Lakeside Project. As brief background, I tried hard while I was an elected member of the Talbot County Council, (2006 to 2018) to fight against what I thought was a terrible abuse of The Smart Growth effort, in our fine County and in the State of Maryland. The Lakeside Project has to date proceeded without proper hearings and legal processes that would be typical of any project of this size and scale.
I fault the County attorney for not throwing a penalty flag when this project appeared to move from unprogrammed to S-i, after years of sitting on ice. The County Council also failed to act in its capacity as a County Board of Health when the developer found a novel way to have the many new homes (at least 120 or more of them) tied into a substandard and failing existing Town of Trappe sewer treatment plant. To me this was a dereliction of duty by this County Council and the health and welfare of the citizens who live in proximity to La Trappe Creek. The developer should never have been allowed to tie into a failing plant…period. (I suppose that is polluted water over the dam).
This situation is intolerable and inexcusable, and yet, MDE has granted the developer 100,000 gallons of allowable wastewater for this phase of the project. This decision was unfortunate but certainly better than 570,000 gallons of wastewater, the amount to be allocated at full build out.
If you take the time to read the pre-amble of the Talbot Comprehensive Plan you will see your instructions for how to move forward with your deliberations. Please recommend only allowing the developer to move forward with only those houses that will use up the 100,000 gallons of allocated sewer capacity from MDE.
Please make sure the developer is required come back to the Planning Commission (and therefore back to the public) for any future sewer allocation above 100,000 gallons and have them go through the correct public process in order to justify any future sewer allocation. Please leave all other mapped areas other than Phase 1 marked as “unprogrammed”. That way, the county citizens will finally (and FOR THE FIRST TIME) have a role to play in this huge development. We are tax paying county citizens who will have the direct burden of the added cost of this development. These added costs will impact the following county functions:
- Water Pollution issues caused by this development — La Trappe Creek being Exhibit A
- School overcrowding, bussing etc.
- Police, medical and volunteer fire fighting costs
- State Court and County Jail Use and Overcrowding
- Roadway costs and wear and tear on existing county road infrastructure
- Trash Removal and Landfill costs
- Inspection and Permit oversight (County level)
- Strain on County Funded Libraries
What happened in the past 17 years since 2006 is over and behind us. While we have regrets about how this developer was given the approval to move forward with Phase 1, we should not allow them to avoid public scrutiny and PC input as this project moves into the next phase(s).
I hope you will consider the unique role of the Planning Commission and make sure you enforce the correct process moving forward. The new Comprehensive Plan in 2026 will not be considered legitimate if the Planning Commission is allowed to ignore its responsibility to properly review the largest residential project in Talbot County history.
Many thanks for your tireless efforts to make Talbot County a great place to live and work. Your efforts to enforce our Comprehensive Plan are greatly appreciated by all.