The Advocacy Committee advocates to reduce stormwater runoff and erosion, remove invasive plant species, improve water quality, preserve and expand natural habitats, and reduce plastic and trash that ends up in our waterways.
Our involvement in our watershed often includes supporting greater open public spaces in densely populated areas, effective stormwater management, more tree planting, and sometimes opposition to development of forested spaces. We have a fairly hard and fast rule that we only weigh in on issues that directly impact our stream, park and/or watershed. This means we can opine on climate change but didn’t, for example, oppose or seek modification of the Cross County Connector as it affected a separate set of watersheds.
Successful Appeal of the PG County Decision to Allow a Royal Farms Gas Station Next to Sligo Creek Park
Last month, a determined group of neighbors and FOSC prevented a proposed 16-pump gas station alongside Sligo Creek Park. Through the combined efforts of FOSC and the Carol Highlands Neighborhood Association (CHNA), the gas station developer Royal Farms withdrew its zoning application.
On January 12, 2023 Royal Farms formally withdrew its application to operate a gas station and convenience store at the southwest intersection of East-West Highway and Riggs Road. The site directly abuts Sligo Creek Park and would have placed the gas pumps within 100 feet of the creek itself, presenting a serious risk from carcinogenic benzene fumes to wildlife and people.
Thanks are due to everyone from CHNA and the site’s immediate neighbors for testifying before the Zoning Hearing Examiner (ZHE) last fall. Following a ruling in favor of Royal Farms by the ZHE, Paul Rowe of CHNA successfully recruited invaluable assistance from both the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland Law School, whose students and faculty crafted our appeal to the full County Council, as well as the legal team at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation who formally represented FOSC and CHNA.
Jeff Cronin and Jason Clayton with CHNA were very active in organizing opposition to the proposed gas station and coordinating testimony at the original hearing before the ZHE. Michael Wilpers represented FOSC in this effort. Well done, all.