To whom it may concern,
I retired about a year ago and have the great privilege of being able to walk my semi-rural Tudor Manor neighborhood in Harford County which has about 40+ acres of open areas, non-tidal wetlands, and woods. These woods and non-tidal areas were replanted with DNR help with native species trees to foster and nourish co-dependent native species. This idyllic setting is about to be destroyed by proposed adjacent Eva Mar development. Tudor is a well-conceived, low density neighborhood, with open areas, non-tidal wetlands, and woods. DNR helped us replant some our common areas with native species.
~Twenty years after the DNR helped plant native species in our common areas, birds such as the Northern Goshawk, Eagle, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl and other species have returned to our Tudor Manor development. The open areas and buffer areas provided by adjacent properties, schools, and developments (Amy Clae, Eva Mar Farm, Thomas Run, C. Milton Wright High School) have provided similar reduced habitat for these species as nature recovers from existing development. Common Maryland wild species, such as deer, red fox, raccoon, black bear are slowly re-entering these recovering habitats.
Our area is approaching grid lock for traffic on Route 543, 22, Thomas Run Road, and Prospect Mill Road due to recent changes to existing developments. While our habitat is still slowly recovering from prior development, our infrastructure is already taxed (marginally adequate) for water, schools, sewage, and highways and now, a major development is planned for the Eva Mar Farm that will destroy a major wildlife habitat, and impose major unfunded changes to our already marginal infrastructure. The major light, noise, and water pollution associated with proposed zoning variances on the Eva Mar farm can’t possibly be acceptable.
The need to build or improve upon water, sewage, highway, cable, and school infrastructures are hidden, but very real, environmental and residential costs that will be funded not by the developer, but by the taxpayers. All will need to change to accommodate this major proposed change. The impact extends well beyond the existing variance. Recent development and associated major road changes in Harford County, merely shifted traffic flow and environmental impact through the Town of Bel Air, but didn’t provide any new avenues, parks, schools, new integrated water sources, integrated sewer systems. The Aegis has a front page article on trying to confront the need for major changes to the water and sewage infrastructure due to development, age, climatic change, etc. It doesn’t even mention confronting major impacts like this zoning variance.
The quality of life, cost of living, property values, taxation in this area will all be adversely affected, not only for residents, but what few areas remain on the 543 corridor for wildlife will be irreparably damaged. I personally don’t want to pay increased taxes to subsidize the profit of Presbyterian Home (Eva Mar major developer) while I can no longer enjoy the night sky due to light pollution from the development.. I don’t want our community to be destroyed by unwanted traffic and noise from a high density development that now wants to dump its traffic through our development affecting the safety of our children, pets, and wildlife.
Is there any assistance that DNR or the Vice-President, Harford County Council (Republican) can provide to assure that a development already disapproved for another area of the county for the same reasons, isn’t merely transplanted to another area? I don’t have the resources to access prior state or county environment studies (assessments, impact statements, wildlife surveys), traffic studies, occupancy rate studies, or the resources to examine the relationship between Presbyterian Home and the Count Executive (former campaign manager) on getting initial approval for variance to what was a much more modest lower density zoning proposal.
Change may be inevitable, but it can be managed in a way to preserve and improve the quality of life in the surrounding communities. The changes to be heard on the 9th of December in Harford County for Eva Mar aren’t constructive changes. The clock needs to be turned back on the Eva Mar zoning variance. The habitat will be gone, as will the quality of life. Present and future generations in Harford County deserve a better world replete with open areas and minimally encumbered by intrusive, poorly conceived development.
I’m a registered Republican. I’m appalled by this proposed change.
Byron R. Hawley
1802 Othello Court
Bel Air, MD21015-1546