As the comment period for the draft legislation that would designate a unified Chesapeake National Recreation Area (CNRA) as part of the National Park System, an article in the Chesapeake Bay Magazine details a schism between some of those in Annapolis and other areas of Anne Arundel County.
The magazine says, "A battle is brewing over at least one of the proposed National Recreation Area locations—Whitehall, off the last exit before the Bay Bridge. The property is on the Broadneck peninsula, an area vulnerable to gridlocked traffic spilling over from the Bay Bridge as eastbound bridge travelers try to circumvent backups using local roads.
"The Whitehall property is currently managed by a trust, IMPACT Collective, and it is a popular wedding venue. Its 1765 Georgian mansion is on the National Historic Register, designated the first National Historic Landmark in Maryland in 1960.""
"The property belonged to the last provincial governor of Maryland, Gov. Horatio Sharpe. The five-part brick building is about 200 feet long. It has a giant portico with Corinthian columns and overlooks Whitehall Bay."
"But others see it differently. “A national park site would be phenomenal! More federal infrastructure, preservation, and focus on keeping the area in good stewardship,” writes one resident."
The comment period for the legislation, written jointly by Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes, includes the entirety of America's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay, and not just the portions in Maryland. The comment period has been extended until March 13th. Click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page to submit comments to the legislators.