Smoke. Trespassing. Noise. Light pollution.
“It goes on and on,” said Joan Jenkins.
According to a report by The Dispatch, Jenkins and her neighbors shared the issues they fear will come if the former Pine Shore Golf Course on Route 611 in Berlin, Md., just north of Assateague Island, is turned into a rental campground during a community meeting Wednesday (Dec. 28). More than 100 area residents turned out to learn what they could about the proposed campground.
“All we want to do is make sure the residents are aware,” said Donald Bounds, who lives near the defunct golf course.
Jenkins and Bounds have spent the past two weeks spearheading an effort to oppose the redevelopment of the golf course, which sits on Ayres Creek, into a campground. They’re worried about the environmental impact a campground would have on the fragile area as well as the effect it would have on traffic. Route 611, the road to Assateague, is already home to two campgrounds and is heavily traveled during the summer.
With the support of their neighbors the pair hosted a meeting at the Ocean Pines library Dec. 28 to share what they know about the project with the public. They distributed copies of plans for the roughly 300-site campground and talked about the process the developer would have to go through before it was built. The property, which is currently zoned E-1, would have to be rezoned as A-2 first. The property owner would then have to ask county officials to approve a special exception that would allow for it to be turned into a campground.
The former Pine Shore property is owned by Todd Burbage, who is represented by attorney Hugh Cropper. Though Cropper did not attend the meeting, he said beforehand he expected it to be filled with misinformation. He maintains that a campground would require little infrastructure and would allow for plenty of green space on the 93-acre site. He added that the homeowners complaining about the project all had homes right on the creek.
“I think the homeowners are being selfish,” he said. “They don’t own the creek.”
In a list of bullet points distributed to the media last week, Cropper pointed out the merits of the campground project compared to a 50-unit housing community, which is permitted by present zoning. He said the seasonal campground would bring in additional tax revenue for the county while not costing government as much as new residences would.
Burbage, who was not in attendance at this week’s meeting, has invited concerned citizens to sit down with him and work together to create a “conservation easement” on the property if they had environmental concerns.
Click here to read the full report.