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This letter was sent to the president and CEO of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and members of the SMECO board. A copy was sent to The Calvert Recorder.

I am writing on behalf of the board of directors of the Windward Harbor at Solomons Condominium Inc. Windward Harbor is a community of 80 homes, located across from the Calvert Marina at the end of Dowell Road. This letter is in regard to the proposed Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative transmission line project, which will traverse through the Solomons community.

Although we understand that planning for this project has been under way for several years, we have only recently been informed of the nature of this project and its potential negative impact on the greater Solomons community, and upon our local neighborhood on the Dowell peninsula.

This matter has been discussed recently within our community, at our condominium association’s meeting on Feb. 9. Our board of directors has authorized me to express our concerns in writing to you and to members of the SMECO board representing Calvert County. While we support SMECO’s plans to improve its services and system reliability for the businesses and residences of Calvert County, we have a significant concern about the physical form of this project and its potential visual intrusion and degradation of our community’s small town appeal.

As you may be aware, last year, Coastal Living magazine rated Solomons as one of the 10 best water-oriented communities in the United States. It is a signature small town, with a great history and heritage, and provides access to one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world. It is a Chesapeake Bay coastal village and a haven from the metropolitan areas to the north.

We believe the current plan for erecting new power line poles with an average height of 150 to 160 feet will dramatically and permanently damage the visual appearance of the entire Solomons area. The poles will impact the Route 2/4 highway corridor and entrance to Solomons. It will be seen from the Calvert Marine Museum and all residential communities in the vicinity. A new county park and Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, a sanctuary for art owned by the Smithsonian Institution, are both only steps away from the alignment of SMECO’s new lines, and would be visually impacted by the project.



William F. Ostrander, Solomons

The writer is the president of the board of directors at Windward Harbor at Solomons Condominium Inc.