Recent initiatives to seek critical area allocations on the Mid-Shore are finding significant pushback from citizens worried that they are contrary to the spirit of County comprehensive plans created to protect important habitats.
In one recent example, the Poplar Hill Farm development in Easton, which had plans for more than 400 homes, was withdrawn last month after the developer faced strong community opposition to using critical area allocations to build out a residential development.
And last week, there was a similar debate in Queen Anne’s County on how those allocations would be used. In this case, the question of the table was a proposal to provide allowances for a 150,000-square-foot storage facility at Kent Narrows to be built.
In the second of two formal reviews in front of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, the applicant sought final approval for the structure after the first review resulted in a 5-1 vote in favor of the development project.
In public comments at the August 8 meeting, Bib Zillig, a citizen advocate against the proposal, once again made his case by reminding the commissioners that the proposed land use was contrary to the spirit of the QAC Comprehensive plan. Zillig and several other environmental advocates outlined the fallout of overdevelopment, swelling traffic, and stressed infrastructure to these ambitious undertakings.
In response, the Commissioners asked QAC Department of Planning & Zoning County’s Planning and Zoning staff Amy Moredock and Stephanie Jones, who helped coordinate the latest update of the comprehensive plan, their analysis of the proposed use.
They reported that the project aligned with the comp plan, particularly concerning stormwater management. They further stated that the applicant’s proposal had minimal need for sewage capacity, and that the project documented a commitment of the developer to exceed minimum zoning standards.
It is anticipated a final decision on the application will be made at the next County Commissioners meeting.
The Spy captured both points of view to share with our readers.
This video is approximately 8 minutes in length.