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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Does Prince George's County have a Plan - that means anything?

The Prince George's County General Plan,approved by the County Council in October 2002, provides long-range guidance for the future growth of the county. It identifies Centers and Corridors where intensive mixed use (residential, commercial and employment development) is to be encouraged. The plan also divides the county into three development tiers (Developed, Developing, Rural) recognizing the different development goals and needs of different parts of the county. The plan also makes recommendations for infrastructure elements: green infrastructure, transportation systems, and public facilities. The plan includes guidance for economic development, revitalization, housing, urban design and historic preservation. Future implementation efforts are outlined.

The question would seem to be: is the county following the guidelines or are we simply making decisions on the fly with the plan as eye candy for the rest of us not in the development business? Reading the General Plan for the rural Tier one wonders how we were blessed to get a Waste Transfer Station, and with in a few miles yet another, strip mall.

The Rural Tier is comprised of the eastern and southern portions of the county in the Patuxent River, Potomac River, and Mattawoman Creek watersheds. The Rural Tier is the most scenic part of the county and is characterized by fine landscapes, most of the county’s remaining farms, extensive woodlands, numerous streams, and diverse wildlife habitat. Development activity includes mining and widely dispersed, large-lot residential home sites. The preservation of the remaining environmentally sensitive features in this Tier is a priority for any future development. Transportation system policies seek to ensure the operational integrity of the road network for a development pattern that is envisioned as remaining essentially as it is today. The hiker and biker trails system in this Tier is principally recreational in purpose and design.

The vision for the Rural Tier is protection of large amounts of land for woodland, wildlife habitat, recreation and agricultural pursuits, and preservation of the rural character and vistas that now exist. Land use, environmental, transportation, and public facilities policies recommended for the Rural Tier are intended to balance the ever-increasing pressure for residential development and landowners’ equity with the desire to maintain rural environments and character. The policies address: retaining or enhancing environmentally sensitive features and agricultural resources; designing future development to retain and enhance the rural character; providing for a transportation system that helps protect open space, rural character, and environmental features and resources; and assigning minimal priority to public sector capital improvements.

The Environmental Infrastructure Element emphasizes the need to protect important environmental assets - by placing the Waste Transfer Station in the middle of the critical area - and make wise use of the county’s resources. The plan proposes the identification and protection of a green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is defined as a network for large, undisturbed land areas (hubs) connected by designated pathways for the movement of wildlife and humans (green corridors). In addition to the identification of the green infrastructure elements, this plan includes policies that are important to sustainable, liveable communities. Preserving ecological functions - by placing one more strip mall with imperivous surface parking lots -, providing for energy conservation, reducing light pollution, and encouraging construction that uses green building techniques are essential elements of sustainable communities in the twenty-first century and are addressed in this plan.

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