The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC) has worked since 1990 to preserve and sustain the communities of the Eastern Shore, and the lands and waters that connect them. Toward this mission, we have helped protect over 57,000 acres of prime agricultural and natural lands, which in partnership with other conservation efforts means nearly a quarter of our rural lands are protected. More recently, ESLC launched a program called the Center for Towns that endeavors to provide support and actions that help advance our region’s small towns as strong, vibrant, and well-defined places.
From this lens of growing strong small towns, ESLC views the development of the Carter Farm as one of the most important opportunities that exists for growing a vibrant Centreville. The Carter Farm is an approximately 72 acre site comprised of two parcels in Centreville, Maryland. The properties, currently zoned for residential development with an approved 138 unit subdivision, include a mix of open field and forested land in the Critical Area.
After nearly two decades of interest, ESLC has secured a six-month option to purchase the properties. Our goal during the next six-months is to allow for a community visioning and transparent public process, creation of a set of criteria and performance standards for future development, and development of a master plan that incorporates protection of natural features while supporting development that is consistent with the scale, pace and character of Centreville.
In addition to public input, we will work with renowned design and development professionals, to generate ideas and innovations that can help make this project design a valuable asset for the Centreville community. While we are working towards a more determinant vision, we will be considering long-term impacts for Centreville, connection and value to the full community, connectivity and transportation, environmental protection, and public access. Preliminary ideas include leveraging off public access connections with the emerging trail system around Town, opening up views of the Corsica River where possible, inviting Town residents and visitors onto the Carter property as a hub of commercial and community activities, and sensitively splicing in housing to add to a core of downtown energy.
We believe the Carter Farm represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for revitalization and economic development in downtown Centreville, and look forward to working with the community to build a vision. To share your thoughts on the future of the Carter Farm, please comment below.