Comments on the Comprehensive Plan

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The following comments were submitted by Earl "Buddy" Hance on December 6, 2017 in response to the draft of the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan:

To Whom It May Concern,

 The following are my comments regarding the 2040 Comprehensive Plan draft.

Traffic

There has been no traffic study conducted in the drafting of this plan. How can any plan that looks forward until 2040 not have a professional study to see how traffic will flow with additional growth. Especially in light of several suggestions and directives that propose increased growth. The study very softly mentions traffic currently flows well except for one intersection that slows occasionally. Additional time should be allowed for a complete traffic impact study and results included otherwise this study is significantly flawed.

Buildout

The current draft has removed the housing cap that was in place previously. Previous plan reviews until this draft included much discussion about the county’s topography, infrastructure limits, and citizen’s perspectives on how they wanted the county to look in the future. Much of that discussion revolved around retaining the culture and rural character that the native county residents want to protect and what drew new residents. A housing cap must be a part of this plan to guide growth decisions.

Land Preservation

This plan has some suggestions that weaken and already struggling TDR market. Preserving Ag land has been a significant goal for Calvert and should remain a top priority moving forward. The plan should aim toward working on ways to strengthen preserving Ag land that protects our rural character and reduces government infrastructure needs  in the future.

Town Centers & Villages

This draft does not suggest but directs certain town centers and villages to be expanded.  Some of these expansions contradict other goals in the plan such as the Huntingtown Village expansion east of Rt. 4 when the plan calls for limited access to Rt. 4. How are these new businesses to access Rt. 4? These expansions are said to be proposed to allow additional business and retail development to occur even though there still exist large amounts of undeveloped land in the current town centers. Especially without a traffic study what are the total impacts of these expansions? I would suggest that until current town centers and villages are reaching buildout this discussion should be delayed after all this is not the last comprehensive plan review.

Plan Completion

Last but certainly not least is the scheduled time frame for adoption. The Comprehensive Plan is a vital document that determines how this county moves forward in the future and will drive changes that forever alter the appearance and character forever. There should always be opportunity for citizens to address issues that arise but recent history has shown that deadlines are more important then those concerns. Moving this process through the holiday season creates limited opportunity because of travel to bring groups together and have meaningful discussion. I would suggest that the comment period be extended until after the new year when adequate time can be devoted and a plan devised we all are confident in.

The previous comments are mine and mine alone based on my understanding of the current draft along with other citizen conversations. This document is to important to rush and not allow adequate debate from all perspectives. Every voice is important and should be heard and considered. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to comment.

Respectfully,

Earl “ Buddy” Hance
Port Republic, Md

Jamie Tiralla