Talbot council approves Cordova master plan draft

This artistic rendering of development possibilities in the center of Cordova is featured in the Cordova Master Plan presented to the Talbot County Council on Jan. 14.

EASTON — Talbot County Council members reviewed the final draft of the village master plan for Cordova during its Tuesday, Jan. 14, meeting in Easton.

The five council members voted unanimously to send the draft plan to the planning commission.

The plan proposes adding some improvements to the center of Cordova where the old train station used to be, create alternatives to the current large-parcel land development regulations that would provide more of the traditional village character of Cordova and converting the current abandoned railway into a trail.

Presenting the draft plan were Miguel Salinas, Talbot County Assistant Planning Officer, and Clive Graham, a project manager for Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP. RK&K was selected to design a plan that ensured Cordova maintained its unique community characteristics.

“The origin of this project comes from the 2016 County Comprehensive Plan,” Graham said. “One of the specific recommendations was a master plan program for the 22 villages that are such an important part of the county’s character.”

According to the council’s website, the Cordova Village Master Plan “will be a six-month process featuring extensive community engagement” and “will include a framework for village efforts to address future growth, preservation and revitalization in the heart of the County’s agricultural core.”

Graham referred back to a meeting held in August 2018, when members of the project team met with Cordova residents at a community planning day.

“It was extremely well-attended,” he said, “Over the course of the day we probably had over 200 people. We took the input from that day and developed a preliminary plan.”

They then took the preliminary plan and first presented it to Talbot County planning staff and then to the residents in November. Graham added that many residents provided further input after being presented with the preliminary plan, and they worked to add that input into the final draft.

“It’s important to us to try and craft recommendations to respond to what people were really looking for,” Graham said.

Council members asked about concerns that have been voiced over the rails to trails initiative. Chip Councell of the Talbot County Planning Commission provided some of the reasons that residents, businesses and land owners in Cordova have shared.

“One of the concerns is with the truck traffic at Nagel’s and smaller children on the path not being aware,” he said. “Another concern from the farmers is pesticide application, both on the trail and off. The other concern is that there are, between Queen Anne and Easton, farmers who have leased out their land for hunting.”

Council President Corey Pack asked Councell if the concerns were mainly related to safety.

“It’s all safety,” Councell said.

The final draft of the plan also added recommendations for Cordova-specific design standards for new homes and improved cellular and wireless service.

According to the county council’s website, “the Village of Cordova is the most recent master plan project and the first undertaken in the eastern portion of the County. When completed, the Master Plan will identify existing community assets, challenges, needs and desires, along with potential development, safety, economic and enhancement opportunities consistent with the existing character and vision for the Village’s future.”

To view the complete final draft of the master plan nextstep190.com/cordova-master-plan

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