Sustainable Calvert Network (SCN) Questionnaire Results

The Sustainable Calvert Network and the Huntingtown Civic Association are  holding a Calvert County Commissioners Candidates Forum from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m on October 15th at the Calvert County Fairgrounds on MD 231. Prior to the Forum, we asked the candidates to answer eight questions, some open ended and others multiple choice. Not everyone in Calvert can fit into the Fairgrounds building but many can read their answers to our questionnaire. Nine of the ten candidates completed the questionnaire (First District Candidate Mike Hart decided not to participate).

The results of the SCN Questionnaire provide some reason for hope for those who care about Calvert’s rural lands, rural economies, and quality town center development. For example:

  • All nine supported the goals of preserving the rural landscape and creating town centers that are great places to live, work, and shop (question #1),
  • All nine supported the notion of preserving 40,000 acres of prime farm and forest land (question #2),
  • Six of the nine supported spending one percent of the annual budget toward that goal. Three offered other approaches or are not ready to make that commitment. (question #3),
  • All of the nine candidates said that agritourism, ecotourism, heritage tourism, farming, fishing, and forestry are a preferred alternative to residential sprawl outside town centers. (question #4),

Town center development is important for protecting rural lands since good town centers can prevent residential sprawl. I think that all of the candidates gave serious attention to what they would do to make town centers great places to “live, work, and shop”. However their suggestions varied widely and are worthy of comparison (question #5). All thought that effective architectural review standards for buildings and signs are important, as are sidewalks, streetlights, public parks, public buildings, and gathering places (question #6).

Finally, our rural land economies require a sustainable approach to residential development. Farmers need to be able to move farm equipment and get their goods to market. Agritourism, ecotourism, and heritage tourism businesses need uncongested highways so that customers are willing to travel to them. And we all need good access to safe, drinkable water supplies. The current plan says that residential development should increase to no more than 37,000 households (about 20% more than exist today) unless the county’s roads, schools, aquifers, and environment can sustainably accommodate more growth. Seven of our candidates believe that we should hold to the limit of 37,000 households until it is proven that our county’s roads, schools, aquifers, and environment can sustainably accommodate more growth (question #7).

Finally, seven of the candidates believe that the decision on the new comprehensive plan should be made by the next Board of County Commissioners. (question #8). 


We want to sincerely thank all of the candidates who took the time to reply to our questionnaire.