Calvert County Times December 07, 2017 - Page 3

Local News The Calvert County Times Thursday, December 7, 2017 3 Citizens Meeting Generates Land-Use Plan Comments Greg Bowen By Dick Myers Editor Staff of the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning have been actively seeking comments on the fi rst draft of the update of the county comprehensive plan, which includes an updated land-use plan. They have held several public meetings, but they really got an earful at one called by an advocacy group called Keep Calvert Country. Staff, including Director Mark Willis, listened and at times reacted at the meeting held Nov. 30 at the 205 Main tStreet conference room. The meeting was conducted by someone knowledgeable on the subject – Greg Bowen, who was director of the department for more than six years and deputy director for more than 16 years. He said he was speaking as a private citizen and not in his cur- rent capacity as executive director of American Chestnut Land Trust. Bowen noted the short fuse available for public com- ment (the deadline is Dec. 8) and urged those in the au- dience to submit their own comments or supply them to Keep Calvert Country for incorporation into the organi- zations comments. The short deadline brought a complaint raised several times throughout the presentation and audience com- ments – what’s the hurry. Bowen insisted that Keep Calvert Country is not “anti- growth,” but just wants the growth to be done right. He noted that “Calvert County is a good place to live,” and because of that it continues to attract people to come in. One of the reasons people choose to come to Calvert, Bowen said, is “it has a good highway network,” One of his beefs with the daft plan is the lack of traffi c informa- tion. In a briefi ng handed out to meeting participants, it was noted, “NO traffi c studies were conducted in prepa- ration of the new Comp Plan and traffi c observations in the plan do not match the county commissioners’ own projections which project that traffi c will go from approx- imately 45,000 to 83,600 by 2030. The plan observes that traffi c has actually leveled off in recent years. Sunderland Man Charged with Animal Cruelty By Guy Leonard and Dick Myers Staff Writers Joshua Sack of Sunderland has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruel- ty. Charging documents fi led against Sack in Calvert County District Court show that his dog likely suffered from stran- gulation before being brought Nov. 17 to Mid-Atlantic Animal Specialty Hospital (MASH), according to the medical judg- ment of veterinary doctors at the Hunting- town animal hospital. Once the fi ve-month-old American pit bull terrier had been brought in to the animal hospital Nov. 17 doctors placed him on life support, charging documents stated, with “signifi cant infl ammation and swelling injuries to the dog’s neck, caus- ing trouble breathing and possible head trauma.” Doctors also diagnosed the dog, named Sosa, with “apparent paralysis” because it was not able to move its legs. Several knowledgeable sources told The County Times that was not the fi rst tine the dog had been brought into MASH. They reported the dog has been brought in ten days earlier with broken legs but the owner refuse treatment because of cost. MASH, the sources said, reported the in- cident to Calvert County Animal Control. As the result of an inquiry from The County Times about what actions animal control took as the result of the notifi ca- tion, the county’s Communications and Media Relations Department responded with the following: “To answer your ques- tions, the fi rst time we received informa- tion about Sosa was Nov. 7, and the Cal- ve rt County Animal Control Offi ce was taking steps to check on Sosa’s well-being when the incident occurred that led to ani- mal cruelty charges being fi led, and Sosa being removed from his owner. This case surrounding Sosa is an open investigation and we cannot comment further at this time.” Sack, charging documents stated, had told Animal Control Offi cer Frederick Sheckels that he had brought his dog in af- ter an episode at his residence where Sosa had defecated in his bed and Sack had placed him in the bathtub to wash him. Sack said he went back to change his sheets when he found the dog on the fl oor of the bathroom with trouble breathing. A Calvert sheriff’s detective later inter- viewed Sack and said there were inconsis- tencies in the defendant’s story and that he had told the detective that “he had placed his arm around the dog’s neck,” charging documents showed. By Nov. 18 Sack had made several calls to the veterinary hospital where his dog was being treated, asking for Sosa back but Sheckels said he had seized the dog based on its poor condition. Charging documents also alluded to a visit by Sacks and his dog to the same Huntingtown animal hospital Nov. 7 but that visit was not followed up. One of the organization’s proposals is that the plan not allow expansion of the town centers until completion of a traffi c study to determine the impact of the expansion. Willis agreed with Bowen about the absence of a traffi c study, but said the decision not to have a consultant do it was made before he became director if the department. The Keep Calvert Country organization is expected to make recommendations by the Dec. 8 deadline on the issues of sewer, buildout projections, land preservation, town centers and villages, citizen participation and areas that are not included in the plan. “Listed as missing in action,” the fact sheet said, “The plan does not include any mention of preserving the coun- ty’s heritage, nor does it emphasize the need for fi scal re- sponsibility or other accountability or transparency that government has to its citizens. As for citizen participation, the conclusion the group has made is “the new plan is being rushed and there is not enough opportunity for citizen participation.” During comments from the audience, one participant said he didn’t understand the emphasis on higher density growth in the town centers. He said that kind of develop- ment doesn’t pay for itself, drawing lower income citizens with large families to educate. Developer Anthony Williams, who is getting ready to construct a large apartment complex in Prince Frederick, took umbrage. He noted that developers pay for road im- provements. Bowen noted, however, that road impacts can occur at a distance from the development and some- one has to pay for that. Comments can be sent until Dec. 8 to pz@calvetcon- Bowen's Grocery Family Owned & Operated Since 1929 The Charm and Quality of the Past with the Convenience and Variety of Today Advance Holiday Orders Welcome "Our Own" Homemade Southern Maryland Stuff ed Ham Country Sausage Loose • Links FRESH TURKEYS Boneless Turkey Breasts Seasoned And Ready For The Oven Fresh Local Oysters Pints • Quarts Fresh Crab Meat Old Fashioned Bulk Christmas Candy Just Like You Remember from Days Gone By Root Beer Extract Freshly Roasted Peanuts In Our Craft Aisle CALVERT CO. 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