LEONARDTOWN, Md. – St. Mary’s County held a public forum on April 12, where the public went from discussing everything from cannabis grow houses to the edibility of cats.
Although each community member had ideas of what was important, they gave the commissioner much to think about.
The forum started with a member of the community asking the commissioners to protect the community from commercial land development by the bay because the area is supposed to be used for oyster farming, according to the citizen Abigail Edelman. The owner intends to create a road, parking, and commercial buildings on-site, Edelman said.
The next speaker, Joe Guyther, discussed zoning and how cannabis dispensaries have to comply with local zoning. Guyther challenged the commissioners to abide by this, even though the state is pushing for this.
“Let me tell you this. Don’t hide behind that. That’s a lame excuse,” Guyther said. “You are the leaders of the county here. You are responsible for making sure that the zoning laws are complied with.”
By the end of his speech, Guyther asked others in the crowd to stand up if they were with him. Then, the commissioners stopped Guyther and asked only him to address them. Meanwhile, other members of the community voiced their opinions on the issue. Some argued this is a moral issue since the drug is still federally illegal, and this could be the last straw to push the Navy out of the community.
Additionally, Joan Cowan, a member of the community, thanked the commissioners for pushing for the new YMCA. The center will be like a beacon of hope to the community.
“Our soon-to-be YMCA will be a positive moral voice to help make our county a safer place,” Cowan said.
Later in the meeting, Lynn Davis mentioned Airbnb becoming more prevalent in her neighborhood. It has gotten to where most of the neighboring homes around Davis are Airbnb’s.
“What will it take to get this Airbnb horror show to stop,” Davis said. “This is my home, and I have too much to lose.”
One of the most notable calls came from Charles Thompson, who spoke on behalf of his friend Robbie. They did not recommend hunting cats.
“He just wanted to say he does hunting cats or eating them. He found that out the hard way,” Thompson said.
The meeting mentioned a plethora of issues for the commissioners to address. The next commissioner’s meeting will be held on April 26.
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