Quick Action Needed
After months of discussion by the Worcester County Planning Commission to address the expansion of industrial scale poultry operations into our rural county, an improved set of zoning regulations that would address density and setbacks to better protect adjacent properties was to be introduced at the County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday.
It is our hope the Commissioners will discuss the draft regulations prior to their next meeting, approve the amendment and send it out for Public Comment to allow a larger audience an opportunity to learn what is being proposed and present their views on the zoning regulations. The longer this process is delayed, the rush of permit applications already inundating our county permitting office will only increase. All these projects will be grandfathered under the old, deficient regulations.
This is a critical juncture for Worcester County. Our rural landscape is being paved over with industrial buildings, the air we breathe is being polluted by unregulated industrial emissions and our waterways are being polluted by nitrogen, bacteria, and dust. This is Worcester County’s time to either allow Confined Animal Feeding Operations to develop unregulated in our rural farming districts, or do what is best for all of Worcester County and adopt regulations that will protect our prime agricultural lands from industrial development, protect the public health of our communities – including our farming communities – and sustain our main economic driver in Worcester County, Tourism, by protecting and preserving our scenic byways and waterways.
(The writer is the Assateague Coastkeeper.)
Town Support Appreciated
(The following letter was sent to Berlin Mayor Gee Williams.)
Once again, we received excellent support from town employees and the town itself during the fall Cruisers event. Despite the weather, a good time was had by all.
We have worked and organized most of these shows and always are very pleased with the way things click together. This year special thanks to Wendell Purnell and Dave Wheatron for assistance with traffic control devices, Rick Dennis who came very early Saturday to empty and check on the trash cans, later that day to make sure none were overflowing, then planned to come some time afterwards in case any were over filled over the holiday three-day weekend. We also received a call from Augie Wienhold on Friday to confirm that we did not need any special electrical needs. We are sure there may be others missed, as stated above this service is the norm.
A special thanks to Jeff Fleetwood who volunteered his time on Saturday to be a judge. Town support always seems to extend from the newest employee to the most senior managers.