| Dear Mr. Nizza and
I was very disturbed by the message contained in the last "County Line" (2001, Issue 3) regarding the "steady" rate of growth being enjoyed by Queen Anne's County the past few years (excerpt follows). I thought I could ignore those feelings, but when I saw the same wording in the Commissioners' Corner in yesterday's Bay Times I couldn't hold back any more.
First of all, comparing our 400 homes per year to Anne Arundel County's 2300 is ridiculous! Our population is less than 1/10th of AA County's . . . let's not compare apples and oranges shall we? Keep in mind that many of your constituents moved here to get away from that rampant growth.
Secondly, you give the impression that this rate of growth will REMAIN steady at this same 400 homes per year, while you know very well that NO new construction caps have been set, and there are massive developments being planned. The number of new homes in the pipeline (being contemplated, whether "applied for" or not) is astronomical! For instance let's add up the 1350 for Four Seasons, 750 for Gibson's Grant, 1800+/- for the Elm Street Queenstown project, how many for the proposed project for the Wood property in Centreville - lets guesstimate this at 600. If we add only these (and there are more, and YOU KNOW IT) we come up with 4500 new homes. I'm fairly certain the developers would want to be in and out of each of these within 10 years so if they all are approved over the next year or two we're looking at 450 homes per year JUST for those projects. And I truly believe I am being conservative. If we've issued permits for 400 homes per year for the past few years and add that 450 for these new projects (or other new projects already approved) we're now at a staggering 850 new homes per year!
The "growth tools" being put into place will NOT be enough to assure the citizens of Queen Anne's County that their quality of life is about to be reduced dramatically! The traffic around Kent Island is already terrible -- ask anyone (including you Mr. McQueeney) who has been trapped on Rt. 8 So. for an accident or just wall to wall traffic, or who has to jockey around the Castle Marina Circle every day to get anywhere.
I attended a party this past week in Caroline County and was asked if that was my car with the "Save Kent Island" bumper sticker . . . this question came from someone who did not know of my involvement with this issue. They then said they'd visited on Kent Island the previous week and they thought we were too late, it was beyond saving.
I already know of quite a few people from Kent Island who are moving to other Eastern Shore Counties. They do not trust you to do what is right.
I personally didn't like hearing the word "propaganda" being applied to the "County Line" by concerned citizens . . . now I wonder . . . . If we are to truly maintain a steady rate of growth let's put the sewer cap (removed by the Commissioners) back in place, and put a cap on residential building permits at 400 per year. Prove this is not propaganda!
P. S. Following is the excerpt I referred to from the last newsletter:
In fact, development in the
county has remained fairly steady at about 400 new homes being built per
year in QAC. Compare this to the 2,300 new homes that were built last year
in Anne Arundel County (pop. 485,000). While we hear a lot of talk about
new growth, and new developments are being proposed in our growth areas,
the fact is that the rate of growth is remaining fairly steady in our county.
With the new growth tools being put into place, such as the recently raised
development review fees, the recent Interim Adequate Public Facilities
Ordinance (APFO; the first county on the Eastern Shore to adopt an APFO
and one of the smallest in the state with one), and the soon to be raised
Impact Fees, QAC is well positioned to make growth and development pay
its own way.
See News Article Concerning QA Chamber Opposition to Impact Fee Increase
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