Buffers along streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers aren't just beautiful - they're critical parts of infrastructure to protect clean water. Trees and other vegetation planted alongside waterways prevent sediment from those areas being picked up when it rains and contaminating the stream, and help to filter sediment and other pollution flowing with rainwater coming from upstream. They shade the water, keeping it cool to provide better habitat for fish and prevent algae blooms, and provide corridors of habitat. And they slow down water when it rains, especially important for preventing the flooding and sinkholes that are so familiar in Frederick.
Frederick County has rules to protect these buffers when land is developed next to a waterway, and legislation before the County Council right now would strengthen these requirements, especially around Frederick City's drinking water source. Council Bill 20-14 (PDF) places increased protections on steep slopes leading to water bodies, where stormwater accelerating downhill can cause increased erosion, and gives the Linganore Sourcewater Protection Area an even higher level of protection - critical for protecting the health and safety of Lake Linganore, Frederick City's drinking water source.
The County Council had its public hearing on Tuesday 8/25 - read about it here! Councilman Donald, who sponsored the bill alongside Councilman Hagen, started the hearing off right by reminding everyone of three key facts:
However, the following week, the Planning Commission voted against recommending approval of the bill. That doesn't mean the Council can't ultimately pass the bill - but it does make it all the more critical that they hear from you! Click below to email the Council to protect our waterways from development.