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Building moratorium needed near Ellicott City

After the flood, we need a building moratorium near Ellicott City.

The front page headline "Building pressure" (Aug. 14) should have stressed not just the need to build better mechanisms to handle the Tiber and Hudson streams but also to stop development completely in areas that run off into the Tiber and Hudson.

We purchased a home in the county about 44 years ago just up the hill from Ellicott City. Since that time, the amount of development has run amok in spite of the supposed restrictions. On the hill behind me was a single house, now there are seven, and the run-off coming down the hill continues to erode the ground even though they left a small wooded area.

What used to be R-20 half-acre lots has been "worked around" by leaving a small common area. Those seven houses all have roof downspouts and driveways running down the hill toward my neighbors and my house, eventually ending up in the stream across the street from me. I now have three houses that were not part of our development built in an area that was originally considered unbuildable by the original developer because of the flood plain. Those houses had "rain gardens" installed, which were gone at the end of a year.

The planning and approval process for the county just plain dropped the ball or the developers have too much influence on them. You can call it global warming or whatever, but I put the majority of the blame on over-development, as it isn't the Patapsco rising but the overflow from these two tiny streams.

Craig Garfield, Ellicott City

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