Kent County, Maryland.

Six-to-Fix Update: Preserving the Rural Landscape of Kent County

09/22/2017
By Elly Colmers Cowan

Recently, the Kent Conservation and Preservation Alliance received a Heritage Fund grant from Preservation Maryland, as well as a grant from the  National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Bartus Trew Providence Preservation Fund, to conduct an inventory of the outstanding scenic and historical cultural landscape in Kent County that is currently threatened by energy sprawl.

The study will enlist one of the nation’s top experts in cultural landscape assessment and will utilize existing documentation supplemented with input from local property owners. The study is also supported by a grant from Kent County Commissions. This is a clear indication that the county understands the importance of documenting the invaluable cultural and historic resources of the surrounding landscape. A study like this is a first step towards designating the surrounding landscape and protecting it through designation.

Historic image of Still Pond, Maryland. Photo from Maryland Historical Trust.

Kent County is considered to be among the most scenic and historic areas in the entire four county-spanning Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area.Within the Chesterville/Morgan Creek landscape there are a remarkable 18 properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places and 255 individual entries in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, including the Still Pond National Register Historic District. It is adjacent to the Chestertown National Historic Landmark District in the Upper Chester River landscape district, which along with the Sassafras River district flanks the Chesterville/Morgan Creek district. The area’s historic resources were last studied in the early 1990s.

ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE PROTECTION

In other good news, HB 1350 passed in the Maryland General Assembly. The Energy Sitting Bill directs the Public Service Commission to not only continue to give due consideration to the county’s recommendations, but now, in cases of a generating station, the Commission must also consider how the application fits into the local zoning and the county or municipal comprehensive plan. While this bill does not entirely safeguard land from the possibility of energy developers pushing through their projects, it does provide some additional protections, giving added weight to each county’s own plans.

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Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Engagement

Elly Cowan is here to motivate you to get involved in historic preservation and community development by becoming an advocate with us or learning something new at one of our events.

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