Some 30 residents of Kent County attended Tuesday’s County Commissioners meeting to address the proposed Zoning text amendment to update the permitted height of industrial structures from 45 feet to 60 feet in the Industrial, Commercial, and Employment Center zoning districts located in the Route 301 Corridor. Eighteen others wrote letters to the Commissioners. Of those, 11 spoke in favor of the amendment text and 7 spoke against the amendment text.
Of those, 14 spoke in favor of the Zoning text amendment, including the Kent County Chamber of Commerce. Sixteen did not support it, including the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Kent County Planning Commission.
The Route 301 Corridor is a growth area identified in the county comprehensive plan zoned Industrial or Employment Center and includes land adjacent to and one mile east and one mile west of the nine-mile-long section of Route 301 as it passes from north to south in Kent County.
Currently, about 400 acres of the Corridor west of Millington and on the east and west sides of Rt 310 have access to public water and sewer service. Kent County has no plans for providing more services in the Corridor area.
The pros and cons of a zoning text amendment to allow 60 ft structures fell into two camps: those who believe a new height allowance would benefit the County by increasing its tax base and add employment possibilities, and those concerned that large distribution center warehouses would increase traffic, create infrastructure issues and noise pollution compromising the environment, adding that distribution centers employ robotics, not people.
A determination will be made later this month.
A sampling of the meeting is offered here. Numbers have been updated.
This video is approximately ten minutes in length. The two-hour county commissioners session is available on YouTube, here.