WASHINGTON — The Montgomery County Council voted Tuesday to limit development in the Ten Mile Creek watershed.
“This watershed is a treasure,” Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner says of the area near Clarksburg, Md. “It is fragile.”
The council approved a limited amendment to the Clarksburg Master Plan regarding the Ten Mile Creek area, which sets land uses that will protect what has frequently been referred to as one of the county’s “last best streams.”
“While the amendment was fiercely debated, in the end, environmental science prevailed, leading to a master plan amendment that offers protection for the resource through extended buffers around sensitive seeps and streams, retention of steep slopes and forest cover, and caps on impervious surfaces, while still allowing significant opportunities for development in an environmentally sensitive context,” Councilmember Marc Elrich said in a statement.
Pulte Homes planned on building 1,000 homes in the area, but last year the Montgomery County Planning Board reduced the suggested number of homes to 215.
Pulte Homes argued the move violates its right to develop property it bought in the area, and the Peterson Company hoped to develop an outlet mall to serve the area.
The Save Ten Mile Creek coalition, which represents civic and environmental groups, is against the development. The group says the proposed development would degrade the environmentally fragile Ten Mile Creek, which also helps feed the emergency drinking water supply for Montgomery County.