On May 7, the Hudson City Council members will be voting to rezone 90.63 acres allowing Prestige Homes to enlarge the Reserve at River Oaks development. As a result of the rezoning, the landowner will be building homes directly on a natural wetland that serve as a flood control basin and a wildlife corridor.
As of the April 22 workshop, the City Council members had not received documents indicating what evaluation was undertaken by the administration to ensure that the development plan does not have the potential to reduce the level of ecological integrity from the current Composite IEI score. The Composite scores, provide ecological information specific to this area, including "Level of Disturbance" by human-induced disturbance and "Habitat Quality" that is available to wildlife, including exceptional habitats; nesting or breeding grounds for rare, threatened or endangered species. The Bald Eagle continues to be federally protected in the U.S. under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The developer will be required to comply with the setback requirements of 50 foot from the delineated edge of the wetland as defined by United States Army Corps of Engineers. But I am still concerned about the impact of runoff and building in a flood zone will have on the area.
The Brandywine Creek Watershed Plan, 2013 Growth Initiative has documented "phosphorous levels just downstream of Hudson remain high, possibly due to fertilizer runoff from lawns, failing septic systems and nutrient-laden lakes in the area."
I would encourage the Hudson City Council members to request information deemed necessary to make a fully informed and deliberate decision on this rezone amendment. The wetlands feed downstream waters, trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution, and provide fish and wildlife habitat needed for a healthy ecosystem.
Belinda Wing, Hudson