I fear we’re falling into a trap.

To be sure, the advanced degradation of Trappe’s existing wastewater treatment plant, the devastating effect it has had on La Trappe Creek and its inability to take on the additional capacity of a new residential subdivision, is more than enough to disqualify the Lakeside development from further consideration.

Just as the fact that this new development, at full buildout, will require more than 500,000 gallons of treated sewage to be sprayed on nearby crops should disqualify this calamitous project.

Let’s be clear, however — the wastewater treatment issues associated with Lakeside are by no means the only reasons this project should never see the light of day. For reference, here are five more.

1. At a time when the rest of the world is trying to slow the effects of climate change, and is coming to grips with the relationship between sprawl development and carbon emissions, our decision to bulldoze hundreds of acres of open space to build 2,500 new homes atop open space is an incomprehensible step in the wrong direction.

2. Because this development is being built with complete disregard for public transit, this development will, at full buildout, put an additional 5,000 cars on a stretch of U.S. Route 50 that is already highly congested during peak periods and on weekends.

3. The Trappe community is home to one elementary school, no middle school and no high school. It is woefully ill-equipped to handle the expected influx of children and young families, and there is no plan whatsoever to address the inevitable overcrowding that will result.

4. Because the Town of Trappe does not have an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) in place, the developers who will earn a fortune off this project will assuredly pass its massive infrastructure costs onto the taxpayers of Talbot County.

5. Development inspires development. The chances that the residents of Lakeside will be satisfied living in a subdivision with virtually no restaurants, retail or professional services are virtually nil.

Just as there is no chance that the governments of Trappe and Talbot County will close the door on further development within the corridor. In other words, anyone who supports the construction of Lakeside is also supporting the construction of big box retail, chain restaurants and grocery stores on that stretch of U.S. Route 50 (hellllooooo, Walgreen’s, The Sequel!).

In short, the so-called “Lakeside” project is a poorly conceived and poorly planned money grab, and the environmental, economic and civic consequences — both within our community and beyond — would be catastrophic. Talbot County is so much better than this.

LEN N. FOXWELL

Easton

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