No request for a conversion [sale] of use of a Maryland Public Open Space (POS) will be considered for a period of 5 years from when its funded, except in extraordinary circumstances. “Any major road improvements or planned capital improvements for this area should have been thoroughly investigated during the original application drafting and review process, as indicated on the project application,” the guidelines note.
We’re in the process of getting an interpretation from the DNR, but it appears that the standard refers to when the last payment was approved. That was only a very short time ago, so if we’re right, the town has a long time to go before it can get the state approval. We’ll have an answer on that shortly.
We have to wonder as we’ve watched this process unfold, whether any of the Elkton political leadership driving the sale of the land, did any basic checking to see if the developer’s deal was practical. Based on observations of council and the surprises they’ve encountered there, they just started pushing for it as soon as they hear the sales pitch. Otherwise someone would’ve know about most of these obstacles before they became so public!
Just about anyone around town would’ve known that there was a strong probability of clean-up issues related to the RMR site, considering the history of that old industrial property. The POS manual would certainly be something to glance at to be what has to be done on that. There are other issues, some of which we haven’t addressed yet, such as Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas requirements. We’ll get to those shortly since we want to make sure someone notices and is looking out for this piece of land.