The Town of Easton Planning Commission convened on Wednesday afternoon to discuss ongoing development projects and address concerns raised by community members. And the first part of the meeting focused on the Poplar Hill Farm development application.The Poplar Hill development has been a subject of considerable public debate and scrutiny among various stakeholders recently.
Ryan Showalter, representing the Poplar Hill developer’s LLC, appeared before the commission to request a continuance to allow his client further evaluation and incorporate feedback received from the planning commission, the parks board, and the general public over the last few month.
During the meeting, commission members expressed the importance of addressing key issues raised by the community, such as water quality, critical area regulations, and the potential impact on the Tred Avon watershed.
In response, Showalter clarified that the regulations did not necessarily preclude all development in an impaired watershed. He emphasized the need to carefully evaluate the project’s potential impact and make modifications to address public concerns and suggestions effectively.
The commission acknowledged the importance of considering recommendations from respected environmental groups, such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, regarding development in the area. The need for coordination between the state’s regulations, the critical area commission, and local environmental groups was also emphasized.
Discussion also turned to the concept of an adequate public facilities ordinance (APFO). Commissioners discussed the possibility of adopting an APFO to ensure that development projects meet specific criteria related to traffic, school capacity, water, and sewer infrastructure. While the town currently operates under similar policies, the adoption of an APFO would provide a formal framework for assessing development projects and their impact on public facilities.
Ultimately, the commission approved a continuance for the Poplar Hill Farm application. The next planning commission meeting in August will provide time to revisit those revised plans and potential modifications.