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NEWS
September 30, 2006
Blackwater Resort a big threat to bay Before the state's Critical Area Commission is a request to grant one of the largest growth allocations ever sought in Maryland. And the commission's decision regarding the proposed Blackwater Resort development near Cambridge will have a lasting impact on the future of development in Maryland and the health of the bay ("Bay group unveils plan of action," Sept. 20). Time and time again, we have found this to be true: How we use our land has everything to do with how healthy our water and its related habitat can be. This is especially true when a developer proposes a 2,700-home mega-development just upstream from a federal wildlife refuge.
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NEWS
August 27, 2006
If you're going to sell your soul, make sure you get a sweet deal, because you'll never get it back. That's the wisdom the Cambridge City Council should have taken to heart before it voted last week in favor of a billion-dollar resort community proposed for the southern edge of the Dorchester County town. Cambridge is the jewel of the Choptank River, and that pretty river is the matriarch of all Eastern Shore waterways. But the town's once-substantial cachet - Annie Oakley, the Wild West Show sharpshooter, liked Cambridge so much that she retired there - has suffered through decades of hard economic times, lingering racial tension and, as if that weren't bad enough, derisive comparisons with Salisbury, its bustling neighbor to the south, and tony Easton to the north.
NEWS
By CHRIS GUY AND TOM PELTON and CHRIS GUY AND TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTERS | August 22, 2006
CAMBRIDGE -- Plans for a billion-dollar golf resort community that has drawn protests from environmentalists won approval yesterday evening from the Cambridge City Council. The 2,700-home Blackwater Resort project - which opponents view as sprawl that would endanger the nearby Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - now must receive approval from a state commission appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. that reviews construction within 1,000 feet of Chesapeake Bay tributaries. Supporters hope the construction on top of wetlands and farm fields will bring thousands of new residents - and millions in tax dollars - to a city of about 11,000 that has lost population since the 1960s.
NEWS
By RONA KOBELL and RONA KOBELL,SUN REPORTER | June 27, 2006
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has launched a $130,000 campaign to stop a 2,700-home resort from being built near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore. The campaign, which began last week with ads on radio stations and in newspapers throughout the Baltimore-Washington area, encourages people to sign a petition opposing the development, which is to include a conference center, hotel and golf course in an area that is now largely farmland. About 5,000 people have signed the petition since the media campaign began, bringing the total number of signatures to nearly 20,000, foundation officials say. Kim Coble, the group's executive director for Maryland, said she's hoping the petition persuades Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to intervene to stop the project.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | June 22, 2006
The $1 billion, 1,000-plus-acre mega-development planned near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore violates the spirit of two major initiatives marking Maryland as an environmentally progressive state - the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Protection Program and Smart Growth - but apparently the Republican governor and a Democrat who wants to unseat him think it's fine. Only one major gubernatorial candidate, Doug Duncan, the Democratic Montgomery County executive, has had the guts to oppose it. What we have in this story are questions all Marylanders who give a lick about the quality of life in this state must answer: Do you want true protection of the critical areas around the Chesapeake Bay, or do you want public officials to keep making exceptions for developers?
NEWS
By TOM PELTON and TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTER | June 9, 2006
The developers of a $1 billion golf resort and housing development near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore hired 10 prominent State House lobbyists and paid them at least $125,000 in a successful fight against restrictions on the project, records show. The lobbying push - one of the most intense and costly of the General Assembly session that ended in April - was aimed squarely at state Sen. James Brochin, a Baltimore County Democrat who introduced legislation to limit construction in the environmentally sensitive area.
NEWS
By JENNIFER SKALKA AND TOM PELTON and JENNIFER SKALKA AND TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTERS | March 25, 2006
The Maryland Senate killed a bill yesterday that sought to limit development near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore, handing a victory to advocates of growth and local control. Sen. James Brochin, the Baltimore County Democrat who sponsored the legislation, attributed the defeat to an influx of lobbyists working for the developer who wants to build a $1 billion resort community near the refuge. But even Democratic leaders -- Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden of Baltimore -- voted against the bill, which would have barred construction on about a third of the 1,080-acre site in an environmentally sensitive area along Little Blackwater River.
NEWS
By TOM PELTON and TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTER | March 21, 2006
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a group of Dorchester County farmers filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the county's decision to allow a $1 billion resort, conference center and 3,200 homes on environmentally sensitive land near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The petition, filed in Dorchester County Circuit Court, asks for a review of the County Council's decision of Feb. 21 to allow a change in a designation for 313 acres of farmland from a "resource conservation area" to an "intensely developed area."
NEWS
By TOM PELTON and TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTER | March 20, 2006
CAMBRIDGE -- Jeff Edgar grew up trapping snapping turtles in the black-tinted water at the edge of his family's more than century-old farm, selling the meat in town for 50 cents a pound. The men in the Edgar family - including 5-year-old Tyler - still go deer and duck hunting together on the marshy cornfields they've farmed for six generations, back to 1885. But now Edgar and other farmers in this scenic landscape near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge are worried that their rural lifestyles and distinctive Eastern Shore traditions will be destroyed by a proposed $1 billion development.
NEWS
By TOM PELTON and TOM PELTON,SUN REPORTER | February 28, 2006
Local officials have told the developer of a proposed resort and conference center near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to modify his plans, a move that is expected to delay the project for several months. The Cambridge City Council had been scheduled to vote on the final plan for the 3,200-home subdivision last night. But the vote has been put off while the developer, Duane E.E. Zentgraf, prepares a redesign that moves about 180 homes so they are at least 1,000 feet from the Little Blackwater River, said Anne Roane, city planner.
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