It's the Sprawl, Y'all | Sojourners

It's the Sprawl, Y'all

The Hunters Brooke subdivision in Charles County,

The Hunters Brooke subdivision in Charles County, Maryland, is the postcard-perfect example of what is often meant by "the American dream of homeownership" - large houses (more than 300 are planned) going up against a backdrop of woods and fields, within extended commuting distance of the Baltimore-Washington job core. This dreamland for some is a waking nightmare for others, such as environmentalists concerned with what the runoff from the large development will do to a nearby bog.

One night in early December of last year, several large homes under construction in Hunters Brooke went up in flames. No one was injured, but 10 houses were destroyed and 16 severely damaged, at a cost of around $10 million.

News reports cited the possibility that "eco-terrorists" were to blame, since environmental and local citizens’ groups had failed to block the development through the courts. Rush Limbaugh, for one, didn’t wait for an investigation - that day’s transcript on his Web site is headlined "Kooks Burn Down Houses to Save Bugs, Weeds."

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Sojourners Magazine May 2005
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