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Critical Area Commission Seeks Environmental Restoration From Unlawful Development On Little Dobbins Island In Magothy River
Hallmark Lawsuit Utilizes CAC’s New Authority from Governor O’Malley’s 2008 Critical Areas Protection Act Reform
Baltimore, Md. — General Douglas F. Gansler today announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of the Critical Area Commission against Daryl C. Wagner and his corporation, DCW Dutchship Island, LLC. The complaint, filed in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, describes violations of Maryland’s Critical Areas law for illegal building and construction in the Critical Areas buffer on Little Dobbins Island in the Magothy River, Anne Arundel County and seeks restoration and mitigation.
Earlier this year, Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly strengthened Maryland's critical areas law to ensure more adequate protection of the most environmentally sensitive and significant lands within Maryland's Chesapeake and Coastal Bays watersheds. The new law gives the Critical Area Commission authority to pursue violations of the Critical Areas law. This lawsuit is the first such action under the new law which went into effect July 1, 2008.
“We cannot ignore the blatant violations of the Critical Areas law on Little Dobbins Island and excuse them after the fact” said Attorney General Gansler. “Today’s lawsuit on behalf of the Critical Area Commission seeks removal of the illegally built structures and restoration of Little Dobbins Island. Enforcing the laws to protect the Magothy River and the Chesapeake Bay is our top priority.”
Mr. Wagner, an experienced registered homebuilder in Maryland, and his company built a home, gazebo, boat ramp, driveway, sidewalks, sheds, pool, deck and patio, increasing the impervious surface on Little Dobbins Island by more than 6,000 square feet. Grading and disturbance of as much as 31,000 square feet resulted in the removal and clearing of a considerable number of trees and natural vegetation from Little Dobbins Island within the Critical Areas buffer.
“Action to reverse the harm caused by this egregious violation of the law is long over due," said Critical Area Commission Chair Margaret G. McHale. "Requiring restoration and mitigation for the irresponsible development on Little Dobbins Island is the best way to put an end to this long, drawn-out situation and achieve meaningful benefits for the wildlife, fish, and people who call the Magothy River home.”
The complaint alleges violations of both the Anne Arundel County Critical Areas Program and the state law and seeks to require Mr. Wagner and DCW Dutchship Island LLC to remove the illegally built structures and restore and mitigate according to plans approved under Anne Arundel County’s Critical Areas Program.
Created in 1984 by the original Critical Area Protection Act, Maryland’s 29-member Critical Area Commission works to preserve water quality and wildlife habitat by minimizing the negative impacts of growth along the shorelines of the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays and their tidal tributaries. In partnership with 64 local jurisdictions, the Commission reviews and approves proposed development projects in these critical areas. In addition, the Commission oversees local enforcement and implementation of related land use policies and regulations. For more information about the Critical Area Commission visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/criticalarea/.
September 25, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.