There are a couple of things that are starting to bother me.
Theysort of fall under the categories of "Now What?" and "There They Go Again!" They are the proposed Waverly Woods development and the Boardof Education's plan to build an elementary school on county parkland.
Let's look at the latter issue first. The Board of Education and the county have proposed building an elementary school on eight acresof Rockburn Branch Park.
Yes, I know we need more schools becauseof the increasing population. But the only thing the county and the board can find is county parkland? You've got to be kidding.
According to this proposal, the county will donate the land and the schoolboard will pay for replacement park land. The county first has to get approval from three state agencies and would have to replace the land.
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Isn't that like cutting the end off a piece of rope and then tying it on the other end? If this is allowed to happen and a precedent is started, will we see piecemeal parks all over the county? And not one big enough to have anything other than a tot lot and a bench?
I certainly hope the state doesn't approve this destruction of a natural area. We need these areas so we can get away from the relentless development and loss of natural areas in the rest of the county. Come on, folks, let's find another site for the school that won't steal from countians' outdoor recreation areas, which are shrinking fast.
Speaking of shrinking fast, the other object of my disgust is the proposed Waverly Woods development. If they build this, there won't be many woods left, so it will be a misnomer. There is already a Waverly Woods development which, for residents out that way, is enough.
The proposed new multiuse development will encompass 682 acres bordering Interstate 70, Marriottsville Road and Route 99. There will be town houses, apartments,single-family homes, employment center and golf course. This will bedeveloped by Donald R. Reuwer and his Land Design and Development Inc.
If you are not familiar with this area, just take a drive out there and try to imagine all this "stuff" in that area. Check out the roads, too. Then you will begin to understand why many people are upset about this proposal.
I've seen a lot of letters to the editor from those opposed to this development. They all have shown rational reasons why the development may not be such a good idea.
First let's consider the golf course, which is the "Trojan Horse" being offeredto sweeten the pot. It looks like the county would probably pay for it. If Reuwer hasn't noticed, there are two golf courses nearby already, one private, and one public.
And what about all the services that this new development will require? To accommodate the additional volume of traffic that will be generated by the new development, roads will have to be widened, and in some cases people's homes may be taken in the process.
What about water and sewers? There are now just wells and septic tanks in this area. The proposed employment center? Do we need another industrial area, with all the existing vacanciesin other county employment centers?
What is attractive about thisto the County Council? Tax money. It may make no difference because more money will be needed for more schools, roads, utilities, police and fire protection to servethis area, and the list goes on.
We could end up worse off financially than we are now. We all know who will be better off financially, don't we?
The zoning board has to approve the zoning changes necessary for this endeavor. Who is the zoning board? The County Council, elected officials who need to be re-elected. If they don't serve the people they represent, we can hit them in the ballot box.
We need to examine the contents of this deal carefully to see if this plan could cause more trouble than it is worth.Don't forget to look farther than the 18th green.
The Waverly Mansion, built around 1760, which will be surrounded by all this, was once called "The Mistake." Could this have been a harbinger of things to come?