Keep Davidsonville Rural: Stop the Mega Salt Barn!
This petition made change with 3,695 supporters!
URGENT!! FRIENDS, FAMILY AND DAVIDSONVILLE RESIDENTS-
We need your help. Within this past year we were informed by the State Highway Administration that they are considering four acres of land along 424, at the front of Y Worry Farm, as a potential site for a mega salt facility.
EMINENT DOMAIN: In 1960 the State of Maryland, under eminent domain, confiscated these four acres of John and Mary Scible’s property for the purpose of laying an interchange (what was to be cloverleaf style ramps) from Route 50. The Scibles contested the state’s settlement offers, as they had already lost a portion of the farm in 1950 for the construction or Route 50 itself and did not wish to sell the land, but the State pushed forward. After forcing their hand with condemnation, the state compensated the Scibles with a reduced settlement amount. The agreement of condemnation contained an inclusion that the Scibles may continue to use the land for agricultural purposes until highway construction. The land was never developed as intended and the Scibles continued to farm the land, but were never given the opportunity to reclaim the property. A far cry from highway development, this land is now being proposed as the construction site of this mega salt facility. The state’s condemnation of the property was all for naught in 1960, and while reclaiming the property is now a distant dream, the Scible family is devastated that their beloved Davidsonville farm and the rural character of the surrounding historic farmland will be destroyed by the state’s new proposed use of the land.
WHAT IS A MEGA SALT FACILITY? A standard salt dome holds between 2,000-3,000 tons of salt for use on roads and highways. The proposed mega salt facility will hold more than three times a standard dome, at about 10,000 tons of salt. In an effort to ease the impact in what’s currently a heavily rural landscape, the state describes the salt structure as a “salt barn” and suggests that it will blend into the surrounding farmland. Despite its idyllic title, salt barns of comparable capacity are typically over 120 feet wide by 120 feet long, and at times, up to 300 feet long. These structures are surrounded by a parking lot, lighting fixtures, equipment, machinery, trucks, drainage ditches and settlement ponds to mitigate the salt runoff. Major concrete! This structure will NOT blend in with our beautiful Davidsonville!
THE IMPACTED FARMLAND: Last month, during a Davidsonville Area Civic Association meeting that included the topic of this proposal, Senator Edward Reilly spoke of the state’s land and how seemingly fortunate the Scible family was for the ability to farm this piece of land without paying taxes on the property. Be advised, THIS IS NO FAVOR. The use of this land was built into the contract during the eminent domain condemnation. Mark and David Scible, sons of John Scible, are full-time farmers. The Scibles are one of the very few remaining farm families in Anne Arundel County, dependent on farm income. They play an active role in many county and state farm and agriculture associations, have received recognition through the agriculture community, and were named Anne Arundel County’s Soil Conservation’s 2011 Cooperators of the Year. In addition to the homestead farm on 424, the Scible family farms significant acreage along 424, Governor’s Bridge Road, Route 2 and other fields and farmland across Anne Arundel County. Y Worry Farm is not a non-operative gentleman’s farm, or a hobby farm, it’s a true working farm that produces and processes a significant portion of the county’s grain and produce. Y Worry Farm is the hub of an even larger farming operation.
During the fall and winter months, many community and county residents visit Y Worry Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree Farm for their pumpkins, trees, produce, foliage and décor. It has been one of the area’s favorite seasonal venues for 26 years, family-operated, and now serving three generations of loyal customers. October 2015 will be the fourth year that the farm will host the Maryland Agriculture Education Day event, sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Department of Economic Development.
This salt facility is a heavy step towards the industrialization and development of Davidsonville. Should this proposal come to fruition, it will significantly impact the farming residents closest to the facility and serve to push out the area’s oldest farm families. The sale of these properties could lead to the further development of our beloved rural Davidsonville.
A LITTLE HISTORY ON THIS PIECE OF DAVIDSONVILLE: In 1893 Henry Doepkens immigrated from Germany with his wife Elizabeth and settled in Davidsonville, Maryland on a large plot of land on what’s now the Rossback Road, route 424 and route 50 intersections. There, they raised a family of eight children. In 1949 their youngest child, Mary, married John “Jack” Scible, also from Davidsonville, and in 1951 they purchased what is now Y Worry Farm from Mary’s brother, Max Doepkens. There they built the Scible family home and raised five children; Terry, Mark, George, David and Joan. Eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren later, the Scible family still gathers together at the home for holidays and “family days”.
The original homestead of Henry and Elizabeth, established 120 years ago, is now made up of the Doepkens farm, the Scible (Y Worry) farm, the May/Scible household, routes 424 and 50, and the surrounding fields. The Doepkens/Scible family, and surrounding neighbors, are close-knit and make up some of the oldest families of Davidsonville.
A CALL TO ACTION! WHAT CAN YOU DO?
-Sign our petition on change.org
-Email Senator Edward Reilly at Edward.firstname.lastname@example.org
-Email Governor Larry Hogan through www.gov.state.md.us/mail
-Contact the State Highway Administration
-Are you an attorney? We are seeking any legal counsel willing to review the eminent domain contracts, agreements, deeds and letters to potentially block the construction of this structure.
Today: Kristina is counting on you
Kristina Scible Terry needs your help with “Maryland State Highway Administration, Edward Reilly, Maryland Governor, Maryland State House: Keep Davidsonville Rural: Stop the Mega Salt Barn!”. Join Kristina and 3,694 supporters today.