What Do You Think? April 2018
Apr 01, 2018 07:00AM
Editor’s note: On the heels of publishing Janet Holbrook’s contribution to this column in our March 2018 issue, titled “Crownsville Residents Voice Concern Over Bayhawks’ Proposal,” we received several letters on the topic. One of them, written by reader Arthur Deale Brady, extended the conversation to include other areas in Anne Arundel County that are the subject of development pressure.
We share Brady’s letter in this column and invite your feedback on the topic
of development within the county:
“As a lifetime resident of Maryland and Anne Arundel County/Annapolis and the surrounding area with 8-plus generations of family from both parental lineages I/we have seen the demise of our local natural resources and aesthetics that poor planning, zoning, and development have caused in my lifetime.
“The relentless over-development continues as we speak! It is evident in every major area and corridor of our daily lives, stripping woodlands and thereby injuring wetlands that feed and protect our rivers and Bay. Critical area legislation meant to protect our resources has been and continues to be violated and compromised by landowners and developers who only wish to benefit their own alleged rights and interests. The so-called rights of landowners and developers continue to take legal precedent over ethical and aesthetic matters of our people when it comes to protecting our natural resources.
“This is the ugly side of Capitalism vs. Socialism; the rights of the individual entity over society. More recently, Supreme Court rulings broaden the individual to include corporations and business interests. This complicates matters for environmentalists in that the rights of business developers equate to individual rights further strengthening and legitimizing their position. Furthermore, we are in an era when promoting business interests and employment are taking a priority over the environment. There is little oversight in our local government with regard to protecting our environmental treasures from overly aggressive development—it’s no wonder the environment continues to suffer.
“Two obvious examples that come to mind are the strip of Route 2 between Arnold and Jumpers Hole Road near Pasadena and the more controversial Forest Drive/Bay Ridge Avenue sections of Annapolis, where developers have their eyes on several wooded and open-space areas with development plans pending. In the first case, I question how many strip malls, gas stations, convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens we need in such small spaces. In the second case, the woodland, farmland, and open space areas have both environmental and aesthetic value to the, otherwise, already over-developed stretch of road.
“There are many examples of past development that I could cite, however pointless this would be. Once developed, we cannot go back! This is the lesson that we should learn. We need to take a hard look at development, as we cannot undo what is done. Other countries, many of which have far less land than we, have shown that proper zoning, along with considering both long-term and short-term impact, has a lot of merit.”
What do you think? Are Annapolis and Anne Arundel County over-developed? Do you think local government has taken steps to mitigate over-development?
Please email your thoughts to our Publisher and Editor at: Veronica@whatsupmag.com and Editor@whatsupmag.com.