Take Note: Legally, the Council was bound to create a Land Use Plan and as such, 100% protection was not an option available to them. Impervious caps are the tool to best provide for the Creek's protection as part of the Land Use Plan.
However, as Councilmember Branson pointed out at yesterday's vote- though this process has been long, it is only just beginning, getting the right teeth in the final plan and then enforcing it is critical to ensuring these steps toward protection actually take place on the ground. The Council needs to finish the job by putting the teeth into the plan - specific science-based criteria (eg. forested buffers), mandatory compliance and full enforcement.
Today's science needs to dictate the mitigation just as it did the land use plan- that is stormwater mitigation and forested buffers. A difference of a few hundred feet of forest around seeps and springs could be the difference between salamanders (an indicator species of wider stream health) existing in this fragile habitat- or not.
There are so many to thank over this long process. Thanks to the 30-member organizations in the Save Ten Mile Creek Coalition lead by Audubon Naturalist Society and to the many residents making up Liveable Clarksburg.
Cheers to those on the Council who led for better protection for our water resources: Marc Elrich, Roger Berliner and Hans Riemer and their hardworking staffs. Also thanks to those who labored many hours (weekends and nights) to get this as right as possible including Council staffer Marlene Mickelson. In the Post article below, Councilmember Floreen is quoted as saying that the Council "is not taking sides" in their decision and we heartily agree. The Councilmembers that supported the science based caps cut through the threats of lawsuit and the heightened emotions on all sides to act in the public interest and protect a critical public resource- that is to be commended. And thanks to the people of Clarksburg, Montgomery County and the region who spoke eloquently and often of the imperative to protect our region's water resources now.
Here is the staff prepared memo on the joint committee recommendation for the Clarksburg Master Plan with the "6-15-15" solution.
Thanks to all our supporters in this long, long process- can we count on you to help us finish the job? Become a member today with a gift of $25 or more.