Development pressure has increased on the Mayo Peninsula after the building moratorium was lifted in 2017. Preserving the existence and quality of our remaining forests and wetlands is a concern.
Several significant opportunities to protect forests and wetlands on the peninsula have been lost forever to clear cutting and development since the moratorium was lifted (at South Pointe and Turnbull in Loch Haven), but we have a significant piece of property that we can still save: the 41.5-acre Glebe Heights Forest.
The Glebe Heights Forest — bounded by Loch Haven Road and Glebe Heights Drive
— is one of the largest remaining forested tracts on the Mayo Peninsula. A developer hopes to clear substantial portions of the site and build 41 single family homes.
This parcel has unique attributes from an environmental perspective:
It is fully forested with 67 specimen trees, has a portion in the Critical Area, includes a historically designated graveyard, significant non-tidal wetlands, steep slopes and extensive stream buffer restrictions along Glebe Creek, which runs along the whole southern site boundary.
Loss of this tract would permanently fragment one of the last privately owned, largest, contiguous, sections of forest on the Mayo Peninsula.
The parcel lies in the watershed of Glebe Creek and the South River and is an integral part of the larger Glebe Branch-Muddy Creek Greenway identified by Anne Arundel County’s 2009 General Development Plan as a priority preservation area. The state has also identified the parcel as a Targeted Ecological Area.
The parcel contains a Sensitive Species Project Review Area overlay identified by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The Conservation Committee of the Neighbors of the Mayo Peninsula has been
taking several actions to save as much of the Glebe Heights Forest as possible:
1. Over the past two years, we have been commenting on the inconsistent and changing multiple plans that the developer has submitted, revised and resubmitted to the county — none of which the county has approved. We will continue to fight this development proposal.
2. We are researching ways that a conservation easement could be created for the property (a conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that limits the way a property can be used, attached to the deed even if the land changes owners)
3. We are reaching out to citizens and to community, county and environmental organizations for support and funding to appraise the property, as a critical step in pursuing a conservation easement.
4. We have asked the county Office of Planning and Zoning to hold a public meeting as soon as possible with the developer to receive community feedback on their latest proposal, which is so significantly different than the original submission that we believe the county should consider it a brand-new proposal and re-start the process.
Please join us in support of this urgent preservation effort. Let us know if you would
like to join our volunteer team, and stay tuned for our updates on progress.