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Proposed Relocation of Greenbelt Stream May Spell Trouble for North College Park

Proposed relocated stream in Greenbelt development

Last night at the NCPCA’s March meeting, north College Park residents discussed the impact of the proposed relocation of the Greenbelt stream on the Narragansett Run water upstream in north College Park.

Narragansett Run is the primary drainage for North College Park. Failure during heavy rain could have catastrophic effects, such as flooding,  on homeowners throughout the area.

The details of the proposed stream design in the Greenbelt development is still sketchy, since it’s hard to get information about the engineering aspect of the design in public domain. The only detailed information on the design we found is on the City’s 25 February packet, which has a bunch of scanned images of the proposed stream design. Of those pages, the  sketch on page 193 is probably the most detailed one. Unfortunately none of these sketches has any narratives around them, so it’s hard to know the engineering motivation behind these sketches.

I have copied the design from that page and did a touch-up on the proposed stream on the sketch (please see above).

The new design shows that the stream will be some 633 feet longer and its course will be quite different from the current one.

The MDE (Maryland Department of Environment) may have designed the stream in the way to allow more water absorption, or it simply to simulate the natural flow of water. Some residents think the new course of its flow may aid to construction of new developments on top of the proposed stream.

Whatever is the reason for such a change, the NCPCA has asked the MDE to clarify the change in stream’s design. In a letter sent to MDE, it says:

It would be an act of faith on the part of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to accept that all the dredging will cancel out all the filling. Arithmetically, it does not appear possible for a 10-foot stream that is just 633 feet longer than the current stream to absorb the additional displacement of water. Perhaps the MDE staff will understand the Dewberry submission, a set of drawings that do not appear to have any narrative, but MDE cannot expect the general public to comprehend them.

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