County To Preserve Waterfront Land

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County approved the acquisition of a conservation easement last week in an effort to preserve more than 100 acres of land within the Quantico Creek watershed.

Last week, the Wicomico County Council voted 5-0 to approve a resolution authorizing the county to acquire a 114.37-acre easement within the Quantico Creek Rural Legacy Area from Cherrywalk Farm, LLC.

In a memo to the county council, Frank McKenzie, the county’s technical services chief, said $484,143 in funding from the Rural Legacy Program would be used to purchase the conservation easement, located on Cherry Walk Road.

For this project, McKenzie said the county partnered with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Lower Shore Land Trust, The Chesapeake Conservancy and the Department of the Navy, which contributes to the purchase of conservation easements that fall under its flight paths. He explained the conservation easement would be used to protect land located within the Quantico Creek watershed.

“It has been county policy that we not spend money to protect lands that did not have development potential. This acquisition contains two parcels of land …,” he wrote. “In summary, based on the Wicomico County Zoning Code, subdivision regulations, septic bill and soil analysis, the property has development potential and a maximum of six lots would be allowed under the restrictions as noted above.”

With no discussion, the council voted 5-0, with Councilman Ernie Davis absent and Councilman Josh Hastings abstaining, to acquire the conservation easement.

Hastings said he abstained because he is an employee of Lower Shore Land Trust.

In a work session last week, the council also considered two requests to relocate forest conservation easements within Wicomico County.

The two requests, submitted by Parker and Associates, call for the off-site relocation of .39 acres of forest conservation easement located on Rockawalkin Road and the onsite relocation of .34 acres of forest conservation easement on Song Sparrow Circle.

Tyler Walston, environmental planner with the Wicomico County Department of Planning and Zoning, said staff forwarded the two requests to the council with a favorable recommendation.

“Plans submitted to this office for the proposed relocation meet all current FCA requirements,” he said. “Staff recommends approval.”

The council will hold a public hearing on the two relocation requests May 19 at 10 a.m.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.