Maryland Says Conversions [sale] of Public Open Space Defeats Purpose!

The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) provides detailed guidelines officials are required to follow in order to sell Public Open Program properties.  The DNR’s opening policy statement provides the state’s overarching approach to conversions.  It says jurisdictions have to invest years of study, planning and negotations in order to acquire a Public Open Space so conversion [sale] defeats the purpose of the program.

The Mayor and Commissioners of Elkton apparently don’t believe there’s a problem with that statement in the case where it has proposed the sale of a tract of POS land acquired in 2003, and for which it just recently received the final state payment. 

Here’s the quote from the manual:

The intent of the POS Law is to provide adequate open space and recreational areas for citizens.  Years of study, planning and negotiations by county, municipal and State agencies were invested in the selection of each POS site.  Conversions defeat the purpose of the program.  Should a change from the original use be requested, that change must first be consistent with the State and local Land Preservation and Recreation Plans and the County’s Comprehensive Plan, and The Economic Growth Resource Protection and Planning Act of 1992.


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