In his January 18th piece, "New Md. Rules on Stormwater Assailed," Tim Wheeler describes the content of a Smart Growth Task Force meeting at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) where members of the development community came out to oppose new regulations aimed at tightening pollution control standards on re-development sites.
Having been at the meeting, I wasn't surprised so much by the overwhelming sentiment from the development community; they don't want to have to pay the cost of making their projects pollute less. What did surprise me was the willful and repeated misrepresentation of the new guidelines being set forth by MDE. In almost every case study presented, developers claimed the new regulations would cut into the density of their development. What they failed to acknowledge is that the new regulations have a flexibility that allows for off-site mitigation or for the developer to pay a "fee-in-lieu" if stormwater management can't reasonably be handled on the site. Density can still be achieved, smart growth can be preserved, but dollars will be passed to the local jurisdictions to assist with targeted restoration of degraded creeks and streams.