Christian Miele’s Position Statement on Proposed Mitchell Farm Project

Christian Miele, Candidate for Maryland Senate
Posted June 23, 2022 on Facebook

I am pleased to have earned the 3P endorsement for my run for State Senate in District 34. During the course of my campaign, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with thousands of Harford County residents and gather their concerns about both state and local issues. By far, the single greatest local concern is that of overdevelopment in this section of the county. With this in mind, I felt it important to develop a clear public policy statement on the issue of overdevelopment generally and the proposed Mitchell Farm Project specifically.

While land use and zoning issues largely fall under the purview of county government, it has always been my philosophy that state legislators have a role in shaping policy solutions to the full range of issues facing their constituents. These solutions are, of course, best developed in partnership with local elected officials and community stakeholders. It is, therefore, my hope that my position on the issue of overdevelopment may serve as a starting point for future discussions surrounding this important topic.

Re-Thinking the Harford County Zoning Code

In reviewing the current Harford County Zoning Code, it is apparent that the zoning classifications currently in place are overly broad, confusing, and ambiguous. Perhaps most striking is the fact that there does not seem to be a bright line separating projects zoned for General Industrial (GI) versus Light Industrial (LI) use. Concerning the proposed Mitchell Farm Project, one needs only to look at the sheer magnitude of this 5.2 million square-foot project to question how it could possibly be considered “light.” This obvious misapplication of the LI designation fails to honor the spirit of having two distinct classifications. I will, therefore, urge county leaders to form a commission of land use experts, local residents, and elected officials to re-evaluate the current zoning code and make recommendations to the County Council and Executive regarding appropriate re-classifications.

Protecting Quality of Life

Merely addressing zoning legalities is not enough. At the heart of this issue is the fact that projects of this size and scope necessarily impact every aspect of the lives of local residents. Whether we’re talking about concerns related to public health, increased residential traffic or environmental impact, or fears about diminishing home property values, there is clear cause for alarm about how a project like this will affect the overall quality of life for Perryman Peninsula residents. It’s for this reason that I supported the moratorium on this project. Though its fate will ultimately be decided by the courts, we must make a concerted effort moving forward to protect Harford County’s agricultural heritage, vibrant wildlife, and rural character to the extent possible. By re-thinking our zoning classifications with these goals in mind, we can ensure more appropriate uses of our land while still respecting private property rights.

Our Plan to Preserve the Character of Perryman Peninsula

In February of this year, Governor Hogan announced a $75 million investment in new state parks for Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore. While Harford County offers several state parks to local residents, there are currently no such parks in District 34.

Regardless of the outcome of the pending litigation concerning the proposed Mitchell Farm Project, I will champion the creation of a new state park along the Bush River, which would include access to water recreation and other public and historical amenities. This park would preserve and protect for all time the peninsula’s natural resources while responsibly spurring economic activity. It’s a surefire way to stop future overdevelopment, keeping this land in the hands of those who treasure it most.

3 thoughts on “Christian Miele’s Position Statement on Proposed Mitchell Farm Project

  1. Dave Karczmarek says:

    Justin,
    I understand reasonable development is a good thing. However, the proposed Abingdon Business Park is a disgrace. The congestion and traffic is already affecting the area and quality of life for residents, not to mention the environmental impact the additional project will cause.. Many of us have sent emails to Judge Tobin to make a decision on the filing by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that has been sitting on her desk for almost 2 weeks. As each day passes we are forced to watch the destruction community as the developer is moving forward as fast as they can, time is critical. No decision is in fact a decision
    Please help- BTW, I see no such development on Mr. Glassmans back yard!

  2. Leona Van Rossum says:

    Thank you Christian, my family moved to Harford County in 1979 and the massive development is appalling. It needs to stop, no more warehouses, no more condos, no more asphalt and concrete! Unless they want to put this in Glassman’s backyard stop over development of Abingdon and Bel Air South! This Abingdon woods project will impact homeowners home values, homeowners qualify of life, not to mention the wild life that were here first and will be displaced! Do any County office holders drive on Rt.24 by I95, do they ever have to sit at a light 3 times to make a turn? Do they have any idea how these tractor trailers are going to get off of I95 and onto Edgewood Rd.? Or leaving these ” warehouses ” to get onto Rt. 24? We don’t even have a turn lane to get out on 24!! This area was rezoned back in the 90’s from agriculture to Commercial with out even notifying homeowners!

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