December 09, 2011
Partners Join to Fight Massive Illegal Rezoning That Snubs Public Will
Lawsuit Challenges County Action as Counter to Growth Plan
(STEVENSVILLE, MD)—Alan Girard, Maryland Eastern Shore Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, issued this statement following the announcement of a lawsuit to challenge the Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioner's rezoning of 525 acres of farmland for development. The lawsuit was filed Thursday, Dec. 8 in Queen Anne's County Circuit Court jointly by the Queen Anne's Conservation Association, the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, and neighboring property owners.
"I am honored to join our partners here on Maryland's Eastern Shore to formally challenge a 3–2 decision by the Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners that rezones and opens to development 525 acres of farmland in this rural part of the Bay watershed. CBF believes this action is inconsistent with the county's own newly adopted comprehensive plan and runs counter to state legislation supported by CBF and adopted by the Maryland General Assembly in 2009 that requires consistency between county plans and actions.
Local jurisdictions around the Shore and throughout the Bay region are cooperating with state and federal officials to put clean water plans in place that achieve pollution limits and dramatically improve the health of our local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.
The pollution limits have been called "the most hopeful effort toward cleaning up the estuary in a generation." If we are to make progress, particularly when it comes to minimizing impacts from development, we must follow the law. At a time when counties, states, and the federal government are aligned to make strides in protecting the health of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, certain jurisdictions that ignore the law must be held accountable. Unchecked development is the real war on rural Maryland. We cannot go backwards."