The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2007

Points of View & Thoughtful Questions - Developer

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Blankenship Development  ●  Business of the Bay  ●  diligent developers =] 

Slacking Senior 3

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Comments for All Developers


         Response from  Business of the Bay North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                               11:44:00 AM

                I think that all the developers ideas are pretty good. If we combine them all together it

                would greatly affect the bay making it a cleaner place. Some of the ideas arnt very practical

                 but could still possibly work with some effort.




Blankenship Development Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School / Newcomer


                                                                                                                                  7:47:00 AM

             Blankenship Development

  In accordance to the quality of the Chesapeake Bay, development companies have been

slammed with the majority of the blame for poor water quality. True, development has

significantly added to the increased sedimentation and overall pollution of the Chesapeake

Bay, but developers are not the sole source of this contamination and saving the Bay does not

necessarily mean sacrificing our business and our industry. We know what development has

done to the Bay, and we want to help clean it up. To do this, we have put our heads together in

order to produce a sufficient plan that incorporates Low Impact Development practices and

better site design. Not only will it reduce pollutants, but it will benefit us financially.

  The first step to accomplishing our objective would be to apply our 100-acre plan, which

involves dividing 100 acres of land into 200 ½ acre plots instead of 100 full acre plots. This

helps reduce infrastructure, like power lines and the need for roads. This also helps us

implement our Low Impact Development practices, as mentioned in the following paragraph.

  As long as the population density in the Chesapeake Bay watershed continues to increase,

Blankenship Development will provide suitable housing. By implementing Low Impact

Development (LID) practices, we feel that we will be able to house a large number of

individuals with a suitable amount of funding and zoning. With enhanced zoning plans that

center around the landscape, more people can live in a tighter acreage. This particular LID

practice saves space, reduces the need for infrastructure between communities, and saves the

homeowner money since living in open space costs more. Also, the left over acreage may be

saved for aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly scenery.

  Our team will greatly benefit from reducing property tax and condensing application fees on

certain LID projects. The first step in this movement involves integrating LID management

projects into our development plans. These projects contain anything from tree box filters to

bio-retention basins like those already used in Fairfax County. If the fees for implementing

such beneficial development practices are lowered, our company as well as the community

would be benefited greatly. In addition, the reduction of property taxes will permit newly

developed communities to be reviewed as “short plans”, which in turn consent increased SEPA

(State Environmental Protection Administration) thresholds for the LID practices. Our

incentive to implement this plan is simple:  lower service needs equates to lower impacts.

  In order to convince those in our industry to integrate best management practices, certain

accommodations must be made. Some of the aforementioned accommodations should include:

providing zoning benefits, creating government funding programs, expressing importance to

developers, and joining Builders for the Bay.  We, as an industry, would appreciate reducing

restrictions on zoning, parking and street standards, subdivision codes, and drain regulations.

Also, tax incentives for those companies that use environmentally friendly techniques would be

 a good way to encourage businesses to help the environment. In addition to tax incentives, the government could also provide programs that offer paybacks for developers that follow certain


     The government should develop and provide new technologies that are cheaper for

developers and better for the environment. We can reduce the width of new roadways by

revising the structural plans to shave off an inch or two from each side. This helps preserve

resources, conserve space, decreases runoff, and encourages consumers to buy smaller cars

instead of gas-guzzling SUV’s. We can also implement Better Site Design, which includes using

 techniques such as putting windows on the south side of facilities, to reduce lighting and

heating bills, and installing underground tubes to help with air conditioning. Also, we as

developers can reduce the amount of site area devoted to residential lawns. We can also

reduce the total paved area on residential lots.  Currently, 65% of the total paved area

classifies as “habitat for cars”.

     State and local governments should encourage developing companies to join Builders for the

 Bay. This is an agreement between the Center for Watershed Protection, Alliance for the

Chesapeake Bay, and the National Association of Homebuilders. This would require

participation from the local government, community stakeholders, watershed organizations,

developers, and landowners. Joining this alliance would show the community that both the

government and the developer are looking out for the best interests of the economy and the

environment, as well as practicing better site design practices.

If the developing industry disappeared, there would be no homes built and the growing

population would not be supported. The effectiveness of meeting our objectives can be gauged

by looking at profits, homes built vs. population, and population sustainability.  With a

combination of hard work and effort from fellow developers and cooperation from the

government, we can work to provide our communities with quality development projects and

environmentally friendly technologies.


Works Cited


“Article 45:  An Introduction to Better Site Design.” Watershed Protection Techniques. 3(2): 

623-632. 21 February 2007 <  Site_Design.pdf>


Blankenship, Karl. "Book offers alternatives to sprawl engulfing VA countryside." Bay Journal

(2007) 23 Feb 2007 <>.


Blankenship, Karl. "Program Aims to Build Better Relations Between Developers,

Environmentalists." The Bay Journal Jan 2002 23 Feb 2007


Builders for the Bay:  Frequently Asked Questions. Builders for the Bay. 23 February 2007



"Chesapeake 2000." Chesapeake Bay Program Preamble. 28 Feb 2007



Chesapeake Bay Watershed Population. The Chesapeake Bay Program. 28 February 2007



Coffman, Larry. "Introduction to Low Impact Development." Low Impact Development Center

2001 23 Feb 2007 <>.


"Environmental Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2008." Fairfax County, Virginia 15 Sep

2006 21 Feb 2007 <>.


Lutz, Lara. "Builders Group has Designs on Developing Consensus for the Bay." The Bay

Journal 2007 23 Feb 2007 <>.


"LID Incentives." Page 1. 28 Feb 2007




“Smart Growth:  Building Better Places to Live, Work and Play.” NAHB’s Smart Growth Policy

Statement. National Association of Home Builders. 28 February 2007

< print=true>.


"State and County Quick Facts: Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau 12 Jan 2007 21 Feb 2007



Walker, Nick. "Improving Stormwater Management through Low Impact Development."

Fairfax County LID Practices and Policy 11 Dec 2006 23 Feb 2007



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   From:    Conkreat Jungul Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School / Newcomer


                                                                                                                              7:36:00 AM

          First of all, in regards to the 100 acre plan:

          Isn't this going to require lots of additional work and money? Instead of installing 100

          pipelines, you install 200. Also, .5 acre is not very large, so will people even want to live

          there. If you do that work but no one wants to be crammed into the small plots, what is

          the point of it all? Also, we don't see the benefit in having "more people in a tighter

          acreage," since it does not actually reduce the amount of pollution going into the water--

          it just moves the pollution into a small, concentrated source. The areas upriver may be

          cleaner than they would with the spread out plots, but in the end the same amount of

          nastiness ends up in the Bay.


   From:    Chesapeake Homeowners Association Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                              7:40:00 AM

          The plan your company outlined sounds pretty good, but we do have just  a few questions

          to help clarify exactly what you're trying to do. First off, we'd like to know just what

          Low Impact Development practices are. You wrote about them a lot and we were just

          wondering what some other examples were. Also, in your 200 1/2 acre plan, you

          mentioned it would reduce the number of power lines and roads needed since there is

          less acreage per plot. Wouldn't there be a greater need for power and roads since there

          are going to be 200 houses and driveways instead of 100? How would the increase in

          number of plots and then people reduce the need for infrastructure? We were also

          wondering what type of homes you were planning on building because if you were

          building actual houses, the question of how you plan on getting people to live there 

          comes up. If they can already afford one of these houses, what would stop them from

          buying a house on more land somewhere else? 1/2 an acre is a lot of land and we don't

          foresee townhouses being built on a half-acre lot, it's just too much space. With the

          extra space left over, what exactly do you plan to do to make them environmentally

          friendly? You might consider the Bayscapes talked about in our paper. For information

          on this you could look at 

          And out of curiosity, what exactly constitutes "habitat for cars?"    


   From:    Fishing and Boating Industries (F.B.I.) Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                              7:42:00 AM

          Your point of view stated that you want to reduce the width of roads.  In reducing the

          width of roads, wouldn't there be more accidents?  Regarding your 100-acre plan, what

          is the plan, and how will you convince individuals to buy homes on 1/2 acre plots instead

          of a whole acre? 


   From:    T.A.L.K About the Bay Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School / Newcomer


                                                                                                                              7:45:00 AM

            Overall Blankenship Development has developed (no pun intended) a well thought out

          plan; however, you have underestimated the consequences of your ideas. Your 100 acre

          plan is slightly confusing, especially to those of us outside the development circle.

          Building more houses in a smaller area has the possibility of causing more congestion

          and lead to increased tension.  In addition, more people in a tighter acreage could lead

          to concentrated pollution, which will prove to be anything but beneficial.  Another idea

          you presented dealt with shrinking newly constructed roadways, in the hope of moving

          towards smaller vehicles, which pollute less.   In many cases, individuals will continue to

          drive large vehicles in hope of controlling the road, which will lead to further problems. 

          In connection with your road plan, individuals who already own newer vehicles will not

          be willing to buy smaller vehicles in order to help the environment.  To further help

          reduce the amount of paved land your plan could include building parking decks and even

           building upwards in regards to living and working space. 


   From:    Conkreat Jungul Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School / Newcomer


                                                                                                                              7:53:00 AM

          The paper is great; your ideas are well explained.  Your LID practices are good, but I

          believe you could have found more examples on different methods.  I only found two

          examples in your forth paragraph.  The LID practices are your main solution, but you

          fail to really explain what the practices are.  You tell us how they will supplement your

          tax incentive plan and many other things, but I feel they are left to be vague.   


   From:  Anonymous Broadway H.S


                                                                                                                             12:58:00 PM

          You have some great ideas, but I do have a question for you about your acreage plan. 

          Have you considered the average size of homes?  I have lived in both a highly urbanized

           area and a rural section of the watershed.  In both places, you could barely fit a home

          on a half acre.  It might be helpful to rethink this specific plan and the sizes of the lots

          you plan to use for development.


         Blankenship Development Responds to   Pretty much everybody


                                                                                                                                 6:42:00 AM


                In response to the seemingly universal question of our 100-acre plan:

                Homes must be built in order to support the population, so no matter the size of the

                acreage, we’re still going to need to build the same amount of homes. Half of an acre (1

                acre is equivalent to a football field) is sufficient space to put a home on. Our 100-acre

                plan is simply to conserve space and resources. Resources are conserved by reducing

                infrastructure (i.e. Sewage lines, power lines, etc.). Having 200 houses on 100 acres uses

                less piping, etc. than having 200 houses on 200 acres. Population will continue to

                increase; we must focus on the benefits of developing: employment opportunities, economic

                 growth, and the potential for environmentally-friendly expansion. As far as congestion and

                tension, people in the city live on ¼ acre plots, on average; most do not have these

                problems. When building our 200 houses, although the pollution will be more concentrated,

                 there will be less of it because we are using better management practices. A certain

                population will yield the same amount of pollution, no matter how concentrated it is.


                Please enjoy the following link to a picture further explaining our 100-acre plan: (click on

                the pictures)




                In response our other questions:

                First off, Low Impact Development practices are pretty self explanatory. They are simply

                development practices that have a low impact on the environment. Some examples of this

                are: bioretention basins, permeable/porous pavements, green roofs, tree box filters, soil

                amendments, and bioretention swales. A car habitat is simply pavement: roads, driveways,


                Suburban roads are extremely wide as it is, and taking an inch or two off from each side

                should not pose a significant hazard to automobile operators. Your ideas for building

                parking decks and building upwards will be incorporated.





Business of the Bay North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                           10:38:00 AM

We are the businesses around the bay. Were important because we draw in lots of money,

which is important for the economy of the area. Problems that are affecting us are the limits

of how much waste we can produce. Of course business produces a lot of waste but it’s needed

if the area is to have a good economy. These limits aren’t good for use because we can not

produce up to our full potential. Our solution is to be able to produce as much as we can and

then try to clean up the excess waste before it enters the bay. We could build waste water

plants to accomplish this but it would take a great deal of money. I think in the long run though

the bay and the area will benefit since the pollution wont increase but the economy will.

Another thing is that we could use money from the flush tax. We could use this money to update

 the old outdated sewage plants. This will save lots of money becasue the old ones will

constantly have things wrong with them and leak and stuff and that will take time and $$ to

clean up.



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  From:    diligent developers =] North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                             12:14:00 PM

         ok, so your solution is to "hurry up and clean up the excess before it enters the bay"

         considering you are from north harford, you should know of all nothing with

         construction is ever done quickly. you also want to build a waste water plant in order to

         clean your bay and what not. where are you planning on getting this money?  it is a good

         idea, but there is much more thought and planning to go behind it then just "hey lets build

          stuff". the limits set on developing can be rough, but i think they ar important. maybe

         you could research better ways of costruction in order to reduce the necessities. there

         are acts now trying to be passed that are basically using the old materials to rebuild new

            ones. it helps preserve the environment. what do yooou think??






diligent developers =] North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                           10:50:00 AM

It would be an understatement to say the Chesapeake Bay is simply polluted. It has been an

ongoing problem for many years, and continues to be. As developers we have been catching a

lot of heat, and accused of being the main source of pollution to the bay. we're not saying we

don't have effects on the bay, because we do, but there are many other sources that are also

causing pollutants to leak into the bay. we are spending time, developing new plans to help

reduce the amounts of pollution going into the bay, not only the Chesapeake bay, but anywhere

near a marina. "Under the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990, States are

subject to a number of requirements as they develop coastal non point source programs in

conformity with this measure and will have some flexibility in doing so." (1) In order to cut

down on pollutants being put into the bay, the public must also be educated. It must be made

aware where it is improper to dispose of polluting materials. not only can the developers

change their ways to better suit the bay, but there are a lot of smaller steps that can be taken

by individuals who buy the homes after they are completed that would greater that effect.

Many times homeowners like to add on to their homes with decks or landscaping. Homeowners

need to take into consideration what they are using to build their decks. For example you should

 use as few impenetrable surfaces as possible. Stay away from asphalt. When building decks or

 sheds, you should stick to wooden decks and brick or concrete lattice. This allows water to

soak into the ground. By doing this, it could cause run off, so while landscaping you should also

place a thick vegetation buffer along waterways. This helps slow run off in to streams as well

as keeping the land pretty as wanted. This eventually slows some of the pollutants being put into

 streams, thus slowly but surely reducing pollutants going into the bay. Now, it is not only the

developer’s job to know zoning regulations. Homeowners should become aware of zoning

regulations in their areas, so they can follow them as well. "Get involved in the planning and

zoning process in your community. That's where the decisions are made that shape the course

of development and the future quality of our environment." (2) Go to town meetings that may

involve voting on certain propositions. Make your opinion known and there is a better chance

of it being changed. Another example would be farmers. Farmers are known for using

pesticides to protect their crops and fertilizer to make it grow that much better. "Use natural

alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If you must use chemicals, test your soil to

determine the right amount." by knowing how much you are putting into the ground and sticking

to set guidelines as to how much should be put in, excess will be less likely to drain into the bay.

 Since farming also uses many large vehicles, such as tractors, servicing them will eventually

be a necessity. Instead of draining the oil and letting it sit around or leak into the ground,

recycle it by taking it to a service station or a recycling unit. Cow farms have a large impact on

 the environment as well. Instead of letting the waste products of your animals sit around, find

a waste management program that would best suit you and have your waste removed. "Animal

wastes contain bacteria and viruses that contaminate shellfish and cause the closing of bathing

 areas". Although there are many things that can be done in order to more so protect the bay

and its inhabitants, it is not up to the developers alone. It would be unfair for us to sacrifice

what we do because no others will compromise along with us. We all have to make compromises,


but when we can all work together to make them work is when we will really be able to make a

difference in the bay.





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  From:    Conkreat Jungul Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School / Newcomer


                                                                                                                             6:37:00 AM

         I agree that developers aren’t the only polluters of the bay, but I also know that not just

         developers get a lot of accusations, farmers and tourists/recreational departments do

         also.  While I agree that the people who buy the homes must also be concerned with their

          practice, I think your POV paper may be more efficient if you explain the ways that

         developers contribute to the pollution and specific ways that they can decrease it.  It

         seems to me that your more concentrated around solving the other problems, but I think

            you should concentrate on your stakeholder group.






Slacking Senior 3 Broadway H.S. / Rissler


                                                                                                                           12:48:00 PM

  As a developer, I hear of the effects of my work on the Chesapeake Bay daily.  I regret that

my work is harmful to the environment; however, I cannot voluntarily yield to the demands of

radical environmentalists at this time.  Many restrictions, which cause an overall loss of time

and money, have already been placed on developers servicing the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 

Anymore unnecessary laws or ordinances will harm progress in areas already in need of

further development.  Without the ability to expand our cities and towns, living space will

become overly cramped and close to unbearable. 

  Housing and commercial development projects in highly populated areas provide income for

thousands of workers annually.  A decrease in production would cause many of these same

workers to be laid off and/or end up jobless.  In addition, a decrease in urbanization will

damage the economy of highly developed areas where a constant increase in commercial

development is vital. 

  Any attempt to decrease development in the watershed will be detrimental, not only to those

whose jobs are on the line, but the to the economy and most persons living in or near an

urbanized town or city.  I advise any radical environmentalist to ponder my latter statement

seriously.  Development is not something to be suppressed or ceased.  It is a fundamental part

of living life in a growing region.



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  From:    Chesapeake Industrial Corporation Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                             7:24:00 AM

         The main point in your POV appears to be that development should not be suppressed at

         all in order to help the Bay.  You did not include anything about better practices

         developers could implement.  It is posisble for developers to continue building while also

          using better methods.  Developers can use recycled materials and erect better sediment

         fences that actually prevent sediment from draining into the streams.  Development does

          not have to be completely stopped.  They just need to use environmentally friendly

         methods while building. 


         Response from  Slacking Senior 3 Broadway H.S. / Rissler  to All Developers


                                                                                                                               12:11:00 PM

                I know it's probably the unthinkable, but some people really don't care about what happens

                 to the bay.  This said, some individuals would rather defend their occupation and their

                current occupational practices rather than conform to the "environmental friendly" ideas of

                tree huggers.  As far as development is concerned, environmental friendly methods are

                costly and time consuming.  When you're talking about contracted jobs, often worth millions

                or even billions of dollars, no one cares about constructing sediment fences and using

                recycled materials.  The goal of many SUCCESSFUL developers is the "bing, bang, done"

                method that allows quality work to be done quickly, with minimal extra costs and minimal

                overtime work.  Often when developers express this type of opinion, environmentalists call

                their most radical tree hugger friends to cause problems.  They protest, riot and just make

                the developing process more complicated.  They carry signs around to try and stop

                development of certain areas (usually without accomplishing anything) and this is how

                development is ceased.  I'm not talking about a complete halt to developing, but rather

                short-term cessations that still cost contractors thousands of dollars.  My point is that some

                people should accept the inevitable and stop trying to force their environmentalist ideas

                and methods upon others who are trying to make an honest living.







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