Environment Chapter – next update to Comprehensive Plan

Residents who participate in Comp Plan updates are gluttons for punishment – but if we don’t participate, who will shape our future?  Democracy is not a spectator sport. Voting every-now-and-then is not enough. To get what you want, you need to speak up – in a constructive way, and at the right time.

For the environment, that time is now.  The Planning Commission is rewriting the Environment Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.

As described by the county, the chapter “covers a range of topics, including stormwater standards, impervious surfaces, tree save areas, low impact development, limits to clearing and grading, streams and wetlands, sewer systems, energy conservation, land conservation and more.”

Next public meeting will be September 10, with a Planning Commission vote in late November if the county sticks to the schedule.

You get the government you ask for.  If you stay mute, then someone else will define environmental policies, set priorities, and steer the budget for you.

Not sure what to say?  Consider these materials from the 2012 Strategic Plan Issue Analysis:
We envision a community that:
• Preserves more open space
• Offers relief from “built environment”
• Minimizes our carbon footprint
• Copes with and recovers from natural fluctuations
• Provides more pedestrian and biking paths and reduces our dependency on fossil fueled vehicles
• Incorporates more green elements and reduces our impact on the environment
• Realizes there will be environmental impact, but strives to find ways to mitigate that damage and offset them with other good practices

and:
Based on surveys, public meetings and public comment, residents have expressed four primary areas of concern about the environment and goals for preservation in the community.
1. Green initiatives for PWC, such as addressing climate change, global warming, green buildings, energy management and efficiency and waste reduction.
2. Public action to protect the environment including community participation in green initiatives and conservation practices in the home and business.
3. Protection of water quality and the Chesapeake Bay by protecting and restoring streams, as well as a comprehensive watershed management plan.
4. Protection of forests, habitats and sensitive areas by preserving tree cover and creating a tree management plan, which will help also improve air quality.

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