BENEDICT, Md. – Benedict, Maryland may soon be undergoing redevelopment. According to Charles County Economic Development Department “Because of its strong historical themes, regional location, and abundant waterfront, in 2012, Charles County completed the Benedict Waterfront Village Revitalization Plan, a community-based vision for the future of Benedict that includes improved water access and amenities, infill, redevelopment opportunities, and planned sewer service improvements.”
Some citizens however, seem to oppose these redevelopment plans.
“The town is of great historical value and there are other issues on the table. The development of Benedict hinges on the installation of a central sewage system. There is a great deal of information that needs to be discussed regarding this matter. There are areas where the remains of civil war soldiers could be buried but are unknown. These soldiers were slaves that were purchased and transported to this area for training. There was also a hospital in the town. My parents have recovered jars of clay pipes and other artifacts from their garden spot in town,” said Barney Oquinn, member of the Benedict Heritage Preservation Society.
According to Oquinn, Benedict has formed a Benedict Heritage Preservation Society, “We elected temporary board members about one week ago. We are trying to gather the citizens of the town to make them aware of an aggressive schedule proposed by RAR Development.”
President of the Benedict Heritage Preservation Society, Sharon Murphy, gave an update on several key meetings regarding Benedict’s development:
A Benedict Town Hall meeting was hosted by Commissioner Gilbert Bowling on November 14, 2022, to allow residents to ask questions regarding plans for Benedict’s future development and growth. Over 100 people were in attendance. The meeting concluded with a video presentation of a development project called Benedict Gateway; by Ron Russo, RAR Assoc., The project includes high-density housing, senior apartments, a strip mall, a new post office, a gas station, restaurants, and a boardwalk. Reactions to the presentation by attendees, mostly not in favor of the plan, were apparent to Mr. Russo, Commissioner Bowling, and county representatives.
Commissioner Gilbert Bowling suggested the residents of Benedict unite, as one voice, to let politicians and legislators know what the town wants regarding future development and growth. Within two weeks of that meeting, several residents took on that initiative. In less than three months, the Benedict Heritage Preservation Society (Benedict HPS) formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Residents established a provisional board; President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and a mission statement. The Benedict HPS mission is to commemorate, promote and preserve the rich and diverse history and traditions of the village of Benedict.
The Provisional Board of the Benedict HPS held a meeting on February 19, 2023, to inform the property owners and residents of the mission of the non-profit, allow membership sign-up and comments regarding the issues to be addressed with the county.
On March 13, 2023, an introductory meeting followed with Charles County Commissioner Gilbert Bowling, Commissioner Specialist Julie Losh and Benedict HPS Provisional President Sharon Murphy, and Provisional Vice President Mike Olup. The purpose of this meeting was to bring one voice to the county regarding the concerns of Benedict’s property owners and residents. Items presented at this meeting were declining water tables, increased traffic on Rt. 231, raising safety concerns about entering or exiting Benedict, failing septic systems/city sewer, and a burned-out restaurant still standing after five years.
The proposed Benedict Gateway project is of great concern to residents considering the entire peninsula of Benedict is classified as a Chesapeake Bay Critical Area and Limited Development Zone. Commissioner Bowling pledged his assistance to the Benedict HPS in addressing concerns. He is also committed to upholding the study completed by Charles County Commissioner’s Benedict Waterfront Village Revitalization Plan, Resolution No. 2012-09, dated January 2012. The Revitalization Plan considered the residents’ wishes in maintaining a small town village. A Benedict Heritage Preservation Society Facebook page was created and to date has 412 members.”
Oquinn also encouraged citizens to visit the Benedict Heritage Preservation Society Facebook page.
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Benedict has always been a Quiet town for it’s residents. I agree Some improvements are needed. City sewer for one, and maybe a Mom & Pop’s store, with gas pumps and maybe a laundromat? BUT the first thing that needs to go is that burnt out dump that Use to be River’s Edge! This has been a Eye sore to the residents for Far to long now! I can’t understand Why the County and the EPA haven’t been on the owners to remove this dump before now? Someone dropped the ball there!
To the Residents of Benedict, Be Smart!! Keep the Government and Builders at Arms Length!! They have NOTHING GOOD in mind for you!! Its always their Personal Enrichment that comes First.
Keep the builders and GOVMINT away! Their interests at number one, to them! Protected Chesapeake water area, hahahaha. The GOVMINT uses this at their discretion as they see fit. I know home owners who cannot remove trees on their own property, GOVMINT screams protected waterway. So, they’ll keep you under their control not allowing you to do what you want on your property but when it comes to making money screw that protected waterway crap, make way we’re coming thru!!! It’s for your own good. Yeah, cha ching
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