'Non-traditional' land use allows potential hazards near homes [Letter]

December 11, 2013

The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation [MALPF] Board has recently enacted a new "Non-Traditional Uses" program for farms in this program. It allows current and future landowners to operate what I consider commercial-industrial operations. These include private air strips, saw mill-lumber kiln, livestock slaughtering facility, firewood, mulch processing and more. Now less-expensive Agricultural Land can be purchased by large commercial-industrial corporations. It can be used for commercial-industrial use at less than commercially industrially zoned land while paying lower Ag taxes.

Recently, MALPF approved a commercial-industrial mulching facility at 2600 Woodbine Road across from our traditional horse and crop farm. This enterprise trucks in hundreds of tractor trailer loads of off-site wood debris from around the state causing truck traffic and noise. When they process the waste material with tremendous bulldozers, loaders, elevators and a tub grinding machine, they pollute our pristine residential-agricultural neighborhood with toxic dust, noxious odor and horrendous noise. To my knowledge, this operation has no sediment control, no water runoff control, no site plan and no "Conditional Use" approval from the county.

This should be of interest to families who have homes near any MALPF land. Generations of people have spent a lot of time and taxpayer dollars to preserve this land. In my opinion, MALPF has just given it away. Your neighborhood could be next.

Rob Long

Woodbine

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