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When Will We Get The Infrastructure?

April 28, 2006

Roy Meachum's latest drivel ("Say ''Fiasco,'' Suckers!" April 25, 2006) includes this excerpt:

"The region involves, by the way, some 47,000 acres presently slated for about 14,000 homes, which scarcely represents overcrowding. That figures out to approximately one residence for about 3.4 acres, but in clusters, where the facilities are."

One house per 3.4 acres?! Ha! I'll give Roy partial credit for using the calculator to figure that one. Oh, but he says those homes will be "in clusters."

Exactly, they will be smacked right up against the other, just like the sprawl that is Urbana. Nearly everything in the New Market Plan is zoned at least R-3. Will these new homes be affordable? Doubtful.

And the facilities Roy mentions? They aren't here today. Land Stewards claims they will build those facilities, but you'll have to forgive us (the residents of Lake Linganore) if we're skeptical.

Here's why: we've had the Brosius Brothers (original project developers who went bankrupt back in the 70s), we've had Frank Ellis who promised to upgrade all the roads in the community, including rebuilding the bridge on Eaglehead Dr. None of that ever happened.

Currently we have Land Stewards...they already declared bankruptcy two or three years ago. Now they want to build-out Lake Linganore, promise roads, schools, etc. It all sounds eerily familiar!

What about the added traffic?

Land Stewards may take care of the roads in and around Lake Linganore. How about state roads like Rt. 75 and Rt. 144? The state has gone on record saying they cannot provide funding for at least 10 years.

In an April 6th, 2006, article in The Gazette ("New Market road projects predicted to cost $370M") David Severn thinks a developer will step up and provide the funding for these state roads, just like the improvements made to Rt. 85. The figures for Phase 2A of that I-70 project were in the neighborhood of $200M. The figures for the proposed upgrades to Rt. 75 and Rt. 144 are upwards of $370M. What developer in their right mind is going to step up and handle that astronomical figure, or even a portion of it?

John Lovell and Bruce Reeder seem to think we may not even need those improvements since we'll all be telecommuting in 10 years! That could be the case, but what about the increased local traffic? What happens on the weekends when everyone makes a trip to the grocery store, the hardware store, etc?

Nearly every day I witness what happens when infrastructure is not in place. My commute takes me through Blaine Young's neck of the woods: down Rt. 355 or Rt. 75 through Green Valley and Hyattstown to pick up I-270. A mile-long lineup of cars to take Rt. 109 onto I-270 is not uncommon for Rt. 355 or Rt. 75 at that point near Hyattstown. If there is an accident on I-270, then the lineup on Rt. 355 could stretch all the way to Frederick. On a good day, it has taken me 10 minutes to move one quarter of a mile in the backup to turn from the southbound lane of Rt. 75 onto Rt. 80 at the drag strip and this is just due to sheer volume!

My whole point is this: Growth can only be good if there is adequate infrastructure in place to support it.

Jeremy Leftwich, New Market

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