Ten Mile Creek runs clear and cold near Clarksburg Town Center in northwest Montgomery County. The region’s “last best stream,” in the words of one conservationist, it flows into Little Seneca Lake, which serves as part of the Washington area’s emergency water supply.
It’s not mentioned anywhere in a new bill and zoning amendment sponsored by Council member Craig Rice (D-Upcounty) to encourage the use of permeable surfaces in new development. But TenMile figured prominently nonetheless in Tuesday’s hearing on the proposals. This summer the County Planning Board is weighing changes to the Clarksburg Master Plan that will determine how much development to allow in the Ten Mile Creek Watershed. Two major retail projects are in planning stages, and and Rice’s measures could have a direct bearing on what is ultimately built.
Stormwater management regulations currently require developers to minimize the use of impervious surfaces, which allow rainwater to pick up pollutants as it flows into streams and rivers. In environmentally sensitive areas, special water quality plans are required if impervious surfaces exceed 8 percent of a development.