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2002-11-11
Easton, MD. Residents Win Big Against Big Box Stores at Ballot Box.

Anti-sprawl activists cleaned the deck on November 5th. when they swept all 5 Talbot County Council seats with their candidates,and won on 2 ballot questions regarding zoning against sprawl, as detailed in our Newsflash of November 2nd. Question B, or so-called Resolution 92 on the ballot, passed with a 54% vote (6,784 votes) Resolution 92 amends the County Charter to re-establish the authority of the Planning Commission. Question B was added to the ballot after big box retailers Home Depot and Lowe's petitoned to change Talbot County's zoning code with Question C,
known as Bill 808. This measure would have stripped from the 5-member Planning Commission, which has traditionally made land-use decisions, of the authority to approve site plans, giving it instead to the Planning Officer. It gave the County Engineer the authority to rule on all traffic issues, removing the Planning Commission from this traditional role.
The bill eliminated the general purpose clause for each zone, thereby ignoring the overall intent of the code. It gave high-intensity big-box home improvement stores permission to locate in limited industrial zones which were reserved for light industry and office/research uses. Question C was rejected by the voters, despite at least $150,000 in spending by home improvement stores, by 56%, or 7.368 votes.

What you can do: Citizens for Sound Growth were dramatically outspent by Home Depot, but not out-organized. When Home Depot was rejected by the County's Planning Commission, they blatantly tried to get the voters to overturn the local official's position. But it backfired, and now the anti-sprawl movement has defeated the weaking of zoning, and reaffirmed the right of the Planning Commission to make zoning decisions. For more info, go to www.talbotelection. com










 
 
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