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Letter: Speak out about Monocacy River plan

There was a committee appointed by local government two years ago to create the "Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan." They have prepared a Proposed Plan which will be voted on Jan. 31, 2017. Here is the link for the plan: www.frederickcountymd.gov/7115/2016-Update-of-the-Monocacy-River-Manage.

The plan is lengthy and difficult to decipher and the land owners effected have not been properly informed. Time is of the essence for any Carroll and/or Frederick County resident to send an email to the Board opposing this land grab by the government, send to tgoodfellow@frederickcountymd.gov and bmadigan@ccg.carr.org now.

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Let me preface this by saying that I do support the need for clean drinking water and for protecting the environment. However, this plan as it's written, leaves a huge door open for future legislation which will jeopardize many landowners. The plan is proposing to create a "Buffer Zone/Land Setback" along both sides of the Monocacy River. This zone could be up to 1000 feet from the edge of the river. Once this is passed, any new building or land use of any kind would then have to be "approved" by the government.

There is no scientific data cited by the committee that proves that an additional buffer zone of this size will help with cleaner drinking water. On the contrary, research by Yale University indicated a 60-foot-wide buffer filtered out 90 percent of water pollutants, but a buffer more than double the size of 160 feet, filtered only 4 percent more. Thus, a larger buffer does not increase benefits significantly or proportionally.

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There's also an online petition that can be signed on Facebook, www.change.org/p/monocacy-scenic-river-advisory-board-stop-the-monocacy-river-government-land-grab.

If we give the government an inch, they will take a mile. In this case, literally.

There is a Monocacy River Board that is voting on a proposal Feb. 1. Their meeting will be in Taneytown I believe. Unfortunately, any opposition to this plan must be submitted to them by Jan. 30, so time is and has been of the essence.

What is this plan? They are proposing to increase land setbacks for property owners in Carroll and Frederick counties. The committee is not forthcoming and has been very discreet in its motives. The new boundary affects farmland and homes which the government, if put in place, will have even more control over.

Beverly Hood

Keymar

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