Eleven days ago, there was no “FIX LAKESIDE” petition. This morning there are four-hundred thirty (430) signers from every part of Talbot County. People are very concerned about the excessive development pressure — not just Lakeside (approved based on the County being fed incorrect information) but Poplar Hill and several other projects.
The Maryland Dept of Environment has determined that the Talbot County Water and Sewer maps upon which Lakeside’s approval was based contain significant errors. Accordingly, MDE has made a formal demand that the County promptly prepare corrected maps. It has become evident that the new maps which will determine the future of Lakeside are being worked on essentially “behind the scenes.” At a public meeting I attended yesterday morning, the County Engineer described a very unsettling process where, apparently without any guidance from Council Members, the Planning Commission, or any other authority, his office has been moving forward independently, consulting primarily with lawyers for the Lakeside applicant. Indeed, new Draft maps have already been sent to MDE, however until yesterday no one in County management had seen any of these or even knew the status. (Mr. Lesher, liaison to the Public Works Advisory Board, was the only Council Member present at this meeting and afterward he remarked that he needed some time to digest what he had heard. All other Council Members of course know even less.)
In answer to a question in the meeting, the County Engineer asserted that his emails to MDE constituted the County’s “official response” thus far to MDE’s request — even though no Council Member apparently even knew about or authorized the content. From yesterday’s materials, it appears the County Engineer does recognize that Map 24 — which was entire basis for the Lakeside approval — is actually irrelevant, and that Map 23 (on which Lakeside was shown with NO SEWER SERVICE) is the operative document. But there is thus far no evidence of any plan to correct the mistake of Lakeside’s approval even though the approval was based on an incorrect map showing no sewer service.
With no direction about Lakeside coming from the Council, it seems that staff has been left to its own devices, and seemingly is relying heavily on guidance from the Town of Trappe’s lawyer. The Town is essentially the developer’s partner and co-applicant.
Who is in charge here? Who is making policy? The map is the TALBOT COUNTY sewer map, to be decided by the County — not the developer’s map, not the Town of Trappe’s map. MDE wants a map that corrects the mistakes made when Resolution 281 was adopted — which means Fix Lakeside.
To show you support the initiative to get the County to play a role in how far and how fast this project goes go to FixLakeside.com and sign the petition. Our County Council needs to hear from the county citizens.
on behalf of the ad hoc Committee to Fix Lakeside