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Dear Commissioners O’Donnell, Davis and McQueeney:

This letter is sent as my written testimony regarding the Proposed Comprehensive Plan Update.  I attended the informational meeting that the county scheduled last year, several of the Citizens Advisory Committee meetings that were open to the public as well as the recently held public hearings.  I also carefully read the previous 1993 Comprehensive Plan Update.  Although we are told that this update is simply a continuation that builds on the earlier plans, I have found instead that it represents a significant departure from the previous plans.

The 1993 Comprehensive Plan specifically reaffirmed an objective of the 1987 plan – which was to relieve growth pressures on Kent Island.  Therefore, if this 2002 Comprehensive Plan is truthfully just a fine-tuned continuation of the previous plans, then this should continue to be a specifically stated objective.  More importantly, since this objective was not achieved, this update should contain specific ways in which this will be accomplished. 

As is often pointed out, our county has maintained a steady growth of approximately 400 units per year.  This draft comprehensive plan anticipates projections of 400 to 600 units per year.  The fact is, the Planning Commission and Planning Staff reviewed the known development projects coming on line, noting that if the pending/anticipated projects are added to the 400 historical building permits per year, we could average approximately 845 building permits per year for 20 years.  Their conclusion was that the “staff believes that while the County will most likely grow faster than 400 units per year, we will not average any where near 850 permits annually….”. 

Without a specific mechanism that sets annual limits, the county can only hope – and the citizens of Queen Anne’s County have no guarantee - that we will not be overwhelmed by rapid growth. Please step up to the plate and address this very difficult issue that will so severely impact our daily lives.  We need leaders that make it happen, not just hope it happens - or just watch it happen.

Thank you,

Terry Babb

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