Baltimore County, MD residents were concerned about a proposed townhouse project that would have caused the loss of scenic view from one of the most attractive sections of York Road. They were also concerned about the poor stormwater runoff pollution prevention proposed by the applicant. By linking the two issues CEDS was able to exert sufficient pressure on the developer and elected officials to achieve the dual goal of scenic view preservation and stormwater runoff pollution prevention.
A review by CEDS showed the project would not comply with a new law requiring the use of highly-effective stormwater runoff Best Management Practices (BMPs). CEDS then documented that many other projects in the same County failed to comply with stormwater runoff pollution prevention law. CEDS then drafted a letter to the County Executive calling for better BMP enforcement and convinced 16 organizations to endorse the letter. The project of concern to our clients was used to illustrate why compliance was essential to preserving the County’s many sensitive rivers, lakes and other aquatic resources. This strategy resulted in the project going from 0% compliance with the BMP law to 100%. It also forced the County to require compliance on all other development projects.
With the political momentum gained through the BMP letter CEDS was then able to convince the applicant to resolve the scenic view issue. As shown in the following before-after illustrations, the applicant eliminated a number of townhouses and vastly improve landscaping, both of which greatly reduced viewshed impact.