There has been a lot of discussion and controversy in the Maryland General Assembly and in the counties about growth-related strategies. Some say they take away private rights; others, that these strategies save money and protect our water. Since we all want to have clean water and save on government expenditures, why not support smart growth initiatives?
There is an effort to do this through bills in the legislature, House Bill 445 and Senate Bill 236. Both these measures call for managing growth by limiting sprawl development. Proponents of such sprawl often seek to build homes where sewage systems do not exist and where highly-polluting septic systems would be used instead. A house on a septic system can pollute more than eight times that of one on a sewer system.
Current local development plans, if carried out, would result in the loss over 400,000 acres of rural land in the next 30 years. It is unwise both to pollute our ground and surface water and to ravage our rural areas. Moreover, developing in our rural areas would require additional roads and schools, which add to our taxes, and would reduce productive farmland.
Maryland needs clean water, local food supplies, and less taxes, so what's not to support?
Marsha D. Ramsay, Baltimore