Annapolis, MD (March 1, 2018) – Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh today announced that the County has entered into negotiations with Snyder Development Corporation to purchase the 140 acre property in Churchton popularly known as Turtle Run at Deep Cove.
“This pristine piece of property is well suited for Anne Arundel County’s recreation, preservation and reforestation efforts,” said County Executive Steve Schuh. “We need to accelerate the County’s efforts to plant trees. The purchase of this property in beautiful South County will help accomplish that goal.”
The property, which abuts Franklin Point State Park, has been the subject of litigation between the developer and the citizen group South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development, or SACRED. After 10-plus years of attempts, the project had been granted conditional approval to locate 11 homes on a 40-acre parcel along Deep Cove Creek. That decision was appealed by local residents and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and is now before the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals.
“This is great news for the environment and especially for the Critical Areas laws,” said West Rhode Riverkeeper Jeff Holland. “As long as it stays pristine and undeveloped, any resolution that preserves open space and protects our critical areas is worth supporting.”
“I thank the County for its efforts in keeping South County rural,” said Delegate Seth Howard. “These negotiations are a critical first step in ensuring that we can preserve and enjoy this property’s natural wonder.”
Should the County obtain the property, it will be a site for passive recreation activities like hiking, preservation of environmentally sensitive features such as tidal and non-tidal wetlands that feed into Deep Cove Creek, preservation of habitat for bird species that require substantial stands of riparian forest, and opportunities for a major tree planting efforts.
The plantings would be funded with “fee in lieu” money paid into an account when developers remove trees from their projects. Planting on County-owned and government-owned properties are part of a multi-faceted plan to utilize this money that has sat dormant for years.