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Environmentalists Launch Petition to Protect Ten Mile Creek

Audbon Naturalist Society, Montgomery Countryside Alliance are seeking an amendment to Clarksburg's Master Plan.

Spurred out of concern over the impact of possible development on Ten Mile Creek in Clarksburg, environmentalists have started an online petition urging the county council to amend Clarksburg’s planning guidelines.

The Audubon Naturalist Society and Montgomery Countryside Alliance were listed as creators of the petition, which as of Monday had more than 630 supporters. According to the petition letter posted at Change.org:

Only a Master Plan amendment will in a timely manner satisfy the needs of Clarksburg residents while achieving permanent protection of Ten Mile Creek and its watershed. I care about the future of our region. Your acting to protect Ten Mile Creek and meet the needs of Clarksburg residents will help to keep our clean drinking water supply clean for future generations.

County Council President Roger Berliner said his office received more than 600 emails from concerned residents, public access channel Montgomery County Media recently posted online.

In the op-ed published in The Washington Post last week, former planning board chairman Royce Hanson claimed that the County Council “waffled” on protecting Ten Mile Creek when it approved Clarksburg’s Master Plan in 1994.

According to Clarksburg’s Master Plan, the area west of Ten Mile Creek was designated for rural and agricultural uses while parts to the east side were designated for possible development, with reduced densities in place for places closest to the headwaters of Ten Mile Creek.

But according to Hanson:

“… the council postponed decisions on extending a sewer service up the stream valley and rezoning for higher densities … ”

Now two development proposals would add more than 1,000 housing units and a half-million square feet of commercial space into the creek’s headwaters, Hanson wrote.

The County Council is expected to discuss the issue on Oct. 9, according to Montgomery County Media.

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