Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, Dorchester County, Maryland
Clayton's on Cambridge Creek
Log Canoes

Upcoming issues
Next Wednesday, November 19 at 6PM, the Maryland Department of Environment is holding an informational meeting on the proposed vertical expansion of the Beulah Landfill. This meeting provides the public with an opportunity to get information about the permit application and the MDE review process. The meeting will take place at the Hurlock Elementary School 301 Charles Street in Hurlock.
A copy of the public notice is available here.  The document was scan upside down, so in acrobat use the View mode to rotate the document which includes maps and diagrams.

Tudor Farms has requested the Dorchester County Planning Commission  to approve a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to allow a "Retreat Center or Camp" on agriculturally zoned areas.  Please read the summary for details.  Doug Worrall, DCPG Board member, will be attending the Planning Commission meetings as they progress.

Development Fees

Development fees from home construction in Dorchester County brought in $1.5 million from 2009 to 2013. This money was given to schools, public safety and sheriff’s office. Where will this money come from in the future if the moratorium is enacted?  Who will you to cut to meet the short fall?


The question before the county council is for legislation that would prevent the county from waiving the tax or rebate, or refund any portion of the tax. The Council is disposed to answer that question by imposing a moratorium on the tax for 2 years. This is unacceptable, the answer should be to set up criteria for waiving the tax, for example, for nonprofit organizations such as Talbot County and Wicomico County have done. I assume your staff provided a report on what other counties have done, in response to your March 18 request and you have more examples of what other counties have don.  


A two year moratorium is not the answer. Especially with no criteria to determine the success of such a moratorium, and a significant hit to the school, ambulance and sheriff's budget. A recent study by the American Farm Trust indicates that for every $1 brought in by residential housing, $1.2 is spent on community services. Property taxes do not pay for home building. Nor should some sort of “economic development” be expected to pay for the added services, it just does not work that way.


The effect of development fees is complex and it should not be assumed that a reduction in fees means an increased tax base.  For example, 16 of the 24 Maryland counties have development fees.  On the Eastern Shore, Dorchester County’s $3,671 is  very low compared to Talbot’s ($6,625), Wicomico’s ($5,231) and Caroline’s ($5,000). Kent, Chester, Somerset, and Worchester have no fees.  On the other hand,  

Western shore counties development fees typically run much higher: Ann Arundel ($11,616), Calvert ($12,950), Montgomery ($39,450). 

It seems  the more advantageous tack would be to establish legislation for exemptions or waivers, rather than lose the established revenue source.  It will be far harder to re-establish the fee after a 2-year hiatus.
For more information on Impact Fees also known as Development Fees click here  and for cost of community services click here

A City Manager for Cambridge:

April 28 7 pm, City Council Chambers:  Introduction and first reading of ordinance to adopt and approve the budget for FY2015 which appropriates the necessary funds for the operation of the government and administration of the City (Ordinance 1036). Now is a very important time in this process of achieving our goal of obtaining full time professional management for Cambridge and showing city council and the mayor that we are committed to this initiative sends a message.

All of the evidence that we have come across in studies and reports from a national company and the International City/County Manager's Association (ICMA) (see below) is that having a city manager reduces costs, improves services, and, at worst, is revenue neutral or a small cost. If Cambridge is able to implement a city manager in FY 2015 on a part time basis and in FY 2016 on a full time basis, it is believed that the evidence will be clear from the work in FY 2015 that Cambridge will be in a better place and cost savings will be obvious and able to be shown to everyone. As FY 15 would be the time for a part time manager that could be accomplished under a contract with no benefits, any cost will not be significant in the context of a city budget of over $11.5 million.  

The drafting group for this effort from the citizens group are the following: Bill Jarmon, Bill Wise, Will Dennehy, Gene Lauer, Steve Rideout.

 Backup information

  Municipal Form of Government Survey click  here
  Why a City Manager?     click here

Project Clean Stream Follow up:

Thanks to all who Project Clean Stream this year. Last year we organized volunteers to pick up trash at Great Marsh Park. It was a great success and the city of Cambridge picked up the trash collected.  This year we expanded worked with our local fire company – Neck District Volunteer Fire Company to clean up our Neck of the woods in Dorchester County.  Project Clean Stream took place April 5th.  24 volunteers, 114 bags and 3 tires and 2000 lbs of trash was removed!  See our FB page for pix!



January 26, 2014

Dorchester Historical Society
1003 Greenway Drive
Cambridge, MD 21613

Featuring Key Note Speaker

Dr. Dennis Timlin

Soil Scientist USDA-ARS Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory

"Climate Change and Agriculture: What changes have occurred and what can we expect?"

Presentation of 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award

This award is given to a Dorchester resident who has exemplified good stewardship of the county's resources.

Amelia Wright

Sixth generation crop and forest land owner in Dorchester County, MD
Over 35 years of managing forestland using the American Forest Foundation’s American Tree Farm System (ATFS) standards,
Recognized as an Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Northeast Region,
First to represent Forestry industry on the Maryland Agriculture Commission

From My Backyard to Our Bay A Dorchester County Homeowner’s Guide: Actions to Improve the Water Quality of the Chesapeake Bay is now available, click here




The Lawn Fertilizer Management Training will be held May 28th from 10-3pm at Chesapeake College Todd Performing Arts Center.  Dr Gary Felton (Un MD Extension) presents trainging for Eastern Shore communities to help them better  understand the basic requirements of nutrient management with respect to lawn fertilization. 
Come learn how to have a green lawn and clean water.

Ecological impacts of Hurricane Sandy on Chesapeake & Delmarva Coastal Bays

MDE report on coliform in nearshore waters, its from 2005, but worth reading.

Comprehensive Evaluation of Nearshore Fecal Coliform
Distribution in Shellfish Growing Waters.

Transquaking River below Higgins Pond has dangerously high levels of Bluegreen algae, please be careful not to let pets in the water! 

Learn the latest Status of Proposed Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).  Letter to the WIP team by the Dorchester County Commissioners Oct 5, 2012. The Commissioners question the economical sense of spending money on improvements in Dorchester County, since no money is being allocated to dredge and remove nutrient laden sediments from the Conowingo Dam reservoirs which, according to a recently released study by USGS indicates that these sediments deliver a significant nutrient load to the Bay.  


For more than four decades, citizens, businesses and government in the six states of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia have been cooperating to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and bring back abundant fish, crabs, and oysters to the largest estuary in the world.  
The good news is we are halfway to meeting our restoration goals.
Now it’s time to finish the job. Dorchester County has drafted a local clean water implementation plan that some say is the best in Maryland for delivering concrete, balanced and effective actions that can make our waterways clean and healthy again. Very soon, a vote will be taken to adopt this plan.  Dorchester County Commissioners need to hear from you!  Please take a moment to let your representatives know that you care about clean water, and urge them to adopt Dorchester County’s clean water implementation plan.

Act now to make a difference:
Email Mike Moulds at   www.mmoulds@docogonet.com
And your Councilman:

District #1

District #2

District #3

District #4

District #5

Jane Barnard, County Manager

-  Add a personal message to let your representatives know why clean water is important to you.

To learn more about Dorchester County’s plan, visit http://docogonet.com/index.php?page=168 and click the link for the Chesapeake TMDL Local Team information page.  For more information about the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, go to cbf.org/tmdl.  Thank you for your support!


Is Dorchester County: Making Progress for Cleaner Local Waters?  Find out by clicking here 

Check out the Calendar of Events in the "Meetings" section for more  important upcoming activities

If you were not able to attend the Nov 3rd talk by Dave Hoffman on "Energy and Water Use Reduction" click here for a copy of his presentation. 

To get more detailed information on the Local TMDL Team click here

To view the Dorchester County Phase II WIP Team's website click here

Check out the presentation on water quality sampling that was given to the County Commissioners on Oct 4 and the Cambridge Mayor and City Council on Nov14 by clicking here.

Maryland's WIP Phase II Target Load Summaries for each county can be accessed by clicking here

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