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We Won't Back Down Over Kent Island Development Project

Four seasonsYou may have heard: the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is being excluded from a charity event because of our stance opposing a giant waterfront development project on Kent Island.

The decision to exclude us from the Chesapeake Bay Run is outrageous and silly, and we are not going to be intimidated. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation continues to stand strong against the proposed 1079-unit Four Seasons project on Kent Island. The project would be one of the largest developments ever proposed in an ecologically sensitive waterfront area of the Bay.

It’s not clear who was responsible for rejecting our involvement in the Chesapeake Bay Run, a 10- kilometer charity running event over the Bay Bridge planned for November 2014.  But apparently a small group of influential people in Queen Anne’s County who support the development took exception with our stance.

It should be noted that a solid majority of Kent Island residents oppose the Four Seasons project, a fact we learned when we polled voters in Queen Anne's County in partnership with the Queen Anne's Conservation Association.

Think about it: What else should a clean water organization do but oppose a project like this? Should we close our eyes and pretend nothing is wrong when fields and trees next to the Bay are targeted for blacktop and sprawl? Of course not.  We have an obligation to take a stand against poorly-planned development projects like the Four Seasons, no matter what the fallout. 

It is our job to try to prevent the kind of runoff pollution that would pour into the Bay from the massive development project. Indeed, it is the obligation of the local and state governments to do the same. EPA pollution limits for the Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint require this kind of vigilance against increased pollution.

An application for a state wetlands permit for the Four Seasons project, which has been proposed for more than a decade and the subject of court battles and widespread citizen anger, recently was put on hold by the Maryland Board of Public Works, while state officials examine the financial relationship of some of the parties involved.

This kind of scrutiny is healthy.   Maryland officials should look long and hard at Four Seasons, and the long history of runoff pollution violations by its developer (the New Jersey-based K. Hovnanian Homes). 

This is the wrong development in the wrong place.  Let us know you stand with us against this reckless waterfront project by signing our petition.

By Tom Pelton

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

 

Comments

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Dude. Give it a rest. We get it, you do not want the 4 seasons to move forward. On the other hand, you are creating a bad name for your organization because you are relentless. Please try to remember that nlt everybody is against this development. You send a tweet about this almost every day. For people like me who care about the bay and like the CFB, you are making me question the direction you guys are headed.

Totally disagree with you, Dude. CBF is raising much needed awareness and it has to be relentless in doing their job to protect the Chesapeake Bay. The more information that is out there, the better able we all are to make informed decisions about this and other issues affecting the Bay's watershed.

Development proposals like this don't go away. 1,079 units gets revised to 879 or whatever minor capitulation and then they get approved. People's staunch positions soften during negotiations. Then we go from 100% of way-too-much runoff to 80% of way-too-much runoff. The Bay will always be a loser at any level. As much as I hate to say it, there may be battles won, but the war will probably not. Not when money is involved. Doesn't mean it isn't worthy to keep trying.

Yes, we are relentless in our efforts to reduce water pollution. And there is no question that the Four Seasons project would increase pollution in the Bay. We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we only opposed the project half-heartedly.

Where was the image of the Kent Island development plan found?

The developer presented it to the public during a meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works this fall. I took the photo of the map that was on display.

What is the alternative development pattern and what transportation system feeds it? Mixed Use? It is not enough to be against it but one must have an alternative because if it does not go here it will go elsewhere and destroy some other piece of land/water...

See link for net zero building.

http://www.millerhull.com/html/nonresidential/Bullitt.htm

Wetland permit on hold. Now your showing a presence that matters.

Do you invite Hovanian to your meetings and functions? Give thinking people a break.

Way to go, CBF! I am on your side.

To the first poster ("dude"), I say, first, make sure your comments make sense and are well researched. And then make sure they're grammatical. Those two things will go a long way to making sure that your points are understood.

CBF, continue to be relentless.

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