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FOR THE RECORD

K.I.D.L. Response To The Four Seasons DRRA

TO:  THE COMMISSIONERS OF QUEEN ANNE COUNTY

FROM:  WINN KROZACK, OFFICER OF KENT ISLAND DEFENSE LEAGUE 
CHESTER, MD. 21619

DATE:  8/6/02 

BELOW IS MY WRITTEN TESTIMONY AND STATEMENT OF FACT ON THE ISSUES OF THE DEVELOPERS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AGREEMENT FOR FOUR SEASONS.  THIS STATEMENT IS THE VIEW OF THE KENT ISLAND DEFENSE LEAGUE AS WELL AS MY PERSONAL VIEW:

1.  A PUBLIC MEETING ON THE DRRA IS PREMATURE AS THERE ARE STILL TWO PENDING LITIGATIONS  ON THE PROCESS APPROVAL AND APPEAL OF REFERENDUM ON THE GROWTH AREA ORDINANCE. 

IN ADDITION, THE DOCUMENT IS INCOMPLETE, MISSING EXHIBIT 10, AND THE FORMULA FOR THE SEWER ALLOCATION FEE ON PAGE 12, (THE EXPENSIVE SEWER INFORMATION).  IT ALSO HAS INACCURATE HISTORICAL INFORMATION ON EXHIBIT 9 (SEE BELOW).

THE ACME WATER COMPANY PROPERTY IS NOT LISTED EVEN THOUGH IT IS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND THE DEED TO THE BELL PROPERTY HAS NOT YET BEEN ACQUIRED ACCORDING TO HOVNANIAN PAPERWORK.  HOVNANIAN IS THEREFORE NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 18-1304(A)(1) OF THE QUEEN ANNE COUNTY CODE. 

ALSO VACANT FROM THE DOCUMENT ARE THE DOLLAR AMOUNTS FOR CREDITS TO THE DEVELOPER FROM THE COUNTY, LEAVING THE CREDIT DOLLAR AMOUNTS OPEN ENDED.  THIS DOCUMENT IS FAR TOO INCOMPLETE FOR REASONABLE CONSIDERATION, REVIEW, PUBLIC COMMENT, OR APPROVAL. 

2. IT IS ILLEGAL TO PROCEED WITH DRRA PROCESS

IN MORATORIUM ORDINANCE 02-31, THE MORATORIUM CLEARLY STATES:

“WHEREAS: NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT THE NECESSARY TOOLS TO PROPERLY REGULATE THEREOF IN LIGHT OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS IS ESPECIALLY THREATENING TO THE FOURTH ELECTION DISTRICT OF QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY WHICH IS THE SITE OF MUCH OF THE PROPOSED NEW DEVELOPMENT”; (WHICH IS FOUR SEASONS) AND ….

“WHEREAS, IT IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST TO PROTECT THE SAFETY AND GENERAL WELFARE OF THE CITIZENS OF QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY, THROUGH THE SOUND REGULATION OF THE USE OF LAND, ESPECIALLY THE RATE OF NEW RESIDENTIAL GROWTH; AND” ….

THE MORATORIUM CLEARLY STATES IN 2B: “THAT AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS RESOLUTION, NO OFFICIAL OF QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY MAY ACCEPT, PROCESS, OR APPROVE ANY NEW / PENDING INTEREM ADEQUATE PUBLIC FACILITIES STUDY OR MITIGATION PLAN.

ON PAGE 13 ARTICLE 6.5 OF THE DRRA 
INTERIM ADEQUATE PUBLIC FACILITIES ORDINANCE

READS:  “THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE DEVELOPER AGREE THAT THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT CONTAIN THE PROVISIONS OF AN ADEQUATE PUBLIC FACILITIES MITIGATION PLAN AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 28-501(C) OF THE COUNTY CODE (IAPFO).

IT IS AGREED THAT IF THE PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES THIS AGREEMENT (AS WELL AS ANY SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION TO IT) AS THE MITIGATION PLAN FOR FOUR SEASONS THEN THIS AGREEMENT SHALL ALSO BE REGARDED AS THE ADEQUATE PUBLIC FACILITIES AGREEMENT FOR THE FOUR SEASONS AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 28-501C (2) OF THE COUNTY CODE.

AS THIS HEARING IS PART OF THE APPROVAL PROCESS, (AS STATED BY ATTORNEY CHRISTOPHER DRUMMOND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HEARING) THE COMMISSIONERS ARE  IN VIOLATION OF ORDINANCE 02-31 AND BREAKING THE LAW, AND WE REQUESTED THAT THE  MEETING BE DISMISSED AND POSTPONED.  (AT THE HEARING – COMMISSIONER GEORGE O’DONNEL SAID IT DID NOT APPLY AND NO ACTION WAS TAKEN BY THE COUNTY TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW.)

3. ABOVE THE LAW
PAGE 19 – ITEM B
THE DRRA READS: THE COUNTY AGREES THAT THE FOREGOING PHRASE “ESSENTIAL TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE OF CITIZENS” REQUIRES STUDY, EVALUATION, CONCLUSIONS AND FINDINGS ABOVE AND BEYOND THE LEGAL STANDARDS,  AND LEGISLATIVE DISCRETION NORMALLY USED TO ENACT AND APPLY LAND USE REGULATIONS.

THERE IS NO AGREEMENT THAT SHOULD ALLOW ANYONE TO BE ABOVE THE LAW WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLIC WELFARE AND SAFETY.  THIS PART OF THE AGREEMENT SHOULD BE REMOVED.

4. DREDGE SPOILS / CREDIT TOWARDS IMPACT FEES

THE CITIZENS OF THE  COUNTY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY TO REMOVE DREDGE SPOIL FROM FOUR SEASONS.  THE FORMER OWNER, BITTORF, MAY HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID BY THE COUNTY TO PUT SPOILS THERE.  HOVNANIAN PUBLICLY ADMITTED THEY WERE ATTEMPTING TO ACQUIRE THE DREDGE SPOIL FROM CASTLE HARBOR MARINA FOR BERMS ALONG BAYSIDE AND FOR FILL DIRT.  THIS APPEARS TO BE A BACK DOOR CREDIT SYSTEM TO OFFSET THE IMPACT FEES.  THIS CREDIT IS OPEN DOOR AS NO DOLLAR AMOUNTS ARE MENTIONED.  AS DREDGE SPOILS MAY BE CONSIDERED HAZARDOUS, THE COST MAY BE EXPENSIVE.

REMEMBER THAT THE 4.6 ACRE ACME WATER COMPANY LOT, THAT IS ALSO NOT LISTED IN THE AGREEMENT, WAS CREATED FROM THOSE DREDGE SPOILS.  IF THE DEVELOPER WANTS THE COUNTY TO RECLAIM THE DREDGE SPOILS, CAN THE COUNTY ALSO RECLAIM THE ACME WATER COMPANY LOT AS IT WAS CREATED FROM THOSE DREDGE SPOILS?

5. EXHIBIT #10 KNS&G TREATMENT PLANT EXPANSION SCHEDULE 
EXHIBIT 10 IS MISSING FROM THE DRRA.  WE DON’T KNOW COST OF SEWER, THE DOCUMENT IS INCOMPLETE.  THE PUBLIC HEARING SHOULD BE HELD ONLY AFTER THE DOCUMENT IS COMPLETE.

6. ECONOMIC TIMES / AUDIT OF FINANCIALS / PUBLICLY TRADED STOCK
THERE SHOULD BE AN INDEPENDENT AUDIT OF K. HOVNANIAN AT KENT ISLAND, LLC TO MAKE SURE THE COMPANY HAS THE FINANCIAL MEANS TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT AND THAT IT’S ASSETS ARE NOT OVER INFLATED.   K. HOVNANIAN – THE PARENT COMPANY NEEDS TO BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE CORPORATELY AND PERSONALLY – NOT JUST K. HOVNANIAN AT KENT ISLAND LLC.  THE COUNTY NEEDS AN AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENT ON ASSETS OF THE SIGNING PARTY.

ALSO, IF THIS  LLC HAS MINIMAL ASSETS AND LIABILITY – THE COUNTY MUST MAKE THE PARENT COMPANY SIGN THE AGREEMENT.

7. IN THE BEST INTEREST OF QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY, THIS AGREEMENT SHOULD GO BEFORE AN ATTORNEY THAT SPECIALIZES IN DEVELOPERS RIGHTS AGREEMENTS.

8. ON PAGE 13 – WE ARE CONCERNED OVER THE TERM “TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE” AS THE SEWER MAY NOT BE READY IN TIME AND THE CONTRACT COULD BE MADE VOID BY THE DEVELOPER.

9. ON PAGE 7, REGARDING EASEMENTS ON THE CROSS ISLAND TRAIL, THAT UTILITIES ARE PERPENDICULAR TO THE TRAIL, AND NOT PARALLEL TO AND DOWN THE TRAIL.  LACK OF CLARIFICATION COULD ALLOW THE DEVELOPER TO RUN THE LENGTH OF THE CROSS ISLAND TRAIL INSTEAD OF ACROSS IT.

10. DRRA IS NOT NECESSARY
SIGNIFICANT TIME AND MONEY HAS BEEN SPENT ON BUILDING GROWTH MANAGEMENT TOOLS – APFO, IMPACT FEES, MASTER WATER AND SEWER, ETC.   THE DRRA IS UNNECESSARY.

11. FUNDING OF ACQUISITION OF 27 ACRE PARK IN PERPETUITY

ON PAGE 7 OF THE DRRA – THERE IS A $337,500 BUYOUT CLAUSE FOR THE 27 ACRE PARK. THE VALUE OF 27 MITIGATED ACRES OF WATERFRONT SHORE BUFFERS IN A GROWTH AREA ARE WORTH FAR MORE.  WHY IS HOVNANIAN OFFERED A $337,500 ALTERNATIVE NOT TO BUILD A PARK?  THE PARK WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ON SITE AND IT IS NOT.

12. PAGE 11 – THE AGREEMENT SHOULD STATE THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF HOUSES HOVNANIAN CAN BUILD PER YEAR.

13. THE BOND SHOULD BE IN THE AMOUNT OF 8 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE SEWER, NOT 3 MILLION.

14. MONEY FOR FIRE DEPARTMENT 
ONE PART OF THE AGREEMENT SAYS THE EMERGENCY SERVICE FEE IS FOREVER ON THE COVER LETTER.

ANOTHER PART OF THE AGREEMENT SAYS IT STOPS WHEN 2/3 FUNDED – WE’RE ALMOST THERE.

ANOTHER PART OF THE AGREEMENT SAYS IT STOPS IN 20 YEARS – FOREVER IS NOT IN THE DRRA. 

ON PAGE 15, ITEM 6 SHOULD BE REMOVED IN REGARDS TO THE COUNTY CONTRIBUTION AND CANCELLATION OF THE EMERGENCY SERVICE FEE.

15. $1,000,000 UP FRONT PAYMENT

WHAT WILL IT GET USED FOR?   THE MONEY SHOULD BE EARMARKED FOR REDUCING DEBT OR FOR  THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

16. STATE LAW AND COUNTY CODE REQUIRE THE MAXIMUM HEIGHT AND SIZE OF STRUCTURES TO BE CONTAINED IN THE DOCUMENT.

17. DRAWINGS BY MCCRONE FOR K. HOVNANIAN
NONE OF THE DRAWINGS ARE STAMPED AS REQUIRED BY STATE LAW.

NO DRAWINGS ARE TO SCALE – DRAWINGS ARE LABELED NOT TO SCALE.

BEFORE THIS AGREEMENT IS EXECUTED, THE ATTACHED DRAWINGS SHOULD BE SEALED.

18. DEEDS OF OWNERSHIP – STEVENS AND ASSOCIATES LETTER MAY 17, 2002
HOVNANAIAN HAS NOT ACQUIRED THE DEED TO BELL PROPERTY.

THE ACME WATER COMPANY PROPERTY AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT, IS NOT LISTED.

HOVNANIAN DOES NOT COMPLY WITH REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 18-1304(A)(1) OF THE QUEEN ANNE COUNTY CODE – IT IS INCOMPLETE.

19. THE DEVELOPER SHOULD NOT GET HIGHEST SEWER PRIORITY 

ALLOCATION SHOULD BE EQUITABLE FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTY – ALL RESIDENTS, ALL BUSINESSES.

20.  “LETS CALL IT A PARK” -  6.5 ACRE CROSS ISLAND TRAIL PARK

THIS “GIFT” IS USED FOR:

- STORM WATER MANAGEMENT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT

- ABOVE AND BELOW GROUND UTILITIES

- A 500,000 WATER STORAGE TANK

THE COUNTY TAXPAYER WILL PAY FOR RESTROOMS AND PARKING – THIS ENHANCES THE DEVELOPERS PROPERTY.  IT ALSO ALLOWS THE DEVELOPER FROM USING GROWTH ALLOCATION FOR A PLACE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS ONLY NECESSARY FOR HIS DEVELOPMENT.

THE SIGN FOR  DEDICATION OF THE PARK IN K. HOVNANIAN’S NAME  IS TO BE ON THE CROSS ISLAND TRAIL – THIS IS ADVERTISING, IS NOT APPROPRIATE, AND IS NOT WANTED.

21. EXHIBIT #9 INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY / DISTRICT – MARYLAND HISTORICAL TRUST
THE DOCUMENT PRESENTED BY HOVNANIAN TO CONFIRM THAT THERE IS NO HISTORICAL VALUE AT THE SITE ACTUALLY SAYS:

“IT IS POSSIBLE THAT 18TH CENTURY FOUNDATION COULD BE SIGNIFICANT FOR IT’S INFORMATION VALUE UNDER CRITERIA D.  HOWEVER, THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO MAKE A DETERMINATION AT THIS TIME” – CORP OF ENGINEERS - 9/30/1996

THIS DOES NOT SAY THERE IS NO HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE AS IN THE DRRA.

22.   239 ACRES IS NOT DEVELOPED – 43% OF THE SITE
LOOK AT THE DRAWINGS AND SHOW ME ON THE MAP THE 43% THAT IS NOT DEVELOPED.

THEY CAN’T BUILD IN CERTAIN AREAS ANYWAY BECAUSE OF BUFFERS.

THEY STILL PUT STORM WATER MANAGEMENT PONDS IN THE BUFFERS.

970 HOUSES ARE 10’ APART IN CRITICAL AREA – 5’ BUILDING RESTRICTION LINES.

23. FAILURE TO PERFORM PEANALTIES

THERE ARE NO WRITTEN PENALTIES, COMPENSATION, OR CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE TO PERFORM ON THE PART OF THE DEVELOPER.  WHAT HAPPENS IF THE DEVELOPMENT DOESN’T SELL ENOUGH UNITS, OR THEY CAN’T SELL 1350 AGE RESTRICTED HOUSES IN THAT DOLLAR RANGE?

WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY START PUTTING IN ALL THE SEWER, WATER, AND GAS LINES AND HAVE TO ABANDON THE PROJECT ONLY 1/3 COMPLETE?  THE COUNTY IS COMMITTING IT’S CITIZENS TO INTENSE DEVELOPMENT AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THE CITIZENS WON’T GET STUCK HAVING TO PAY TO FINISH THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT A MARKET DIDN’T SUPPORT.

24. “IMPROVEMENTS FOR COUNTY”
THESE “IMPROVEMENTS” ARE ONLY NECESSARY FOR THIS DEVELOPMENT AND DAMAGE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.

WE HAVE WATER, WE HAVE SEWER.

WE DON’T NEED A 500,000 GALLON WATER STORAGE TANK

WE DON’T NEED A 33 MILLION DOLLAR SEWER PLANT EXCEPT FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT 

THE SEWER SHOULD BE FOR FAILING SEPTIC SYSTEMS FIRST.

WE DON’T WANT A 4 LANE DUALIZED BLVD ON CASTLE MARINA RD.

WE DON’T WANT 3000 MORE CARS ON CASTLE MARINA RD.

WE DON’T WANT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF DEBT.

25. THIS IS NOT SMART GROWTH
THE VERY FACT OF NEEDING A DRRA FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF INFRASTRUCTURE GOES AGAINST EVERY CONCEPT OF SMART GROWTH.  THE DRRA IS FOR NON-EXISTING SEWER, NON-EXISTING WATER, NON-EXISTING ROADS, INADEQUATE EMERGENCY AND POLICE SERVICES.  INTENSE DEVELOPMENT AREAS ARE TO BE LOCATED DIRECTLY ADJACENT TO OTHER INTENSE DEVELOPMENT AREAS.  THIS PROJECT IS TOO BIG, NOT THOUGHT OUT, TOO INFLUENCED BY OUT OF STATE BIG MONEY, DAMAGING TO THE ENVIRONMENT, BAD FOR OUR QUALITY OF LIFE, AND TOO MUCH IN A HURRY TO GET APPROVED.

26. THE PUBLIC HEARING SHOULD HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED AT NIGHT

THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE DONE THE COUNTY TAXPAYER A DISSERVICE BY NOT MAKING THE PUBLIC HEARING  FOR THE DRRA ACCESSIBLE TO THE WORKING COUNTY CITIZEN.  IT IS OUR TAX DOLLARS THAT WILL PAY THE CONSEQUENECES OF THIS 20 YEAR, 30 MILLION+ DOLLAR AGREEMENT  THAT CANNOT GET CHANGED, THAT WILL DEGRADE OUR COUNTY’S QUALITY OF LIFE, FOREVER. 

THE COUNTY HAS NOT RECEIVED A TRUE SAMPLING OF PUBLIC INPUT FOR THE DRRA.  THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE SEEN THE PUBLIC’S INPUT ON THIS DEVELOPMENT 3 DIFFERENT TIMES WITH 700+/- CITIZENS AT EACH HEARING.  THE COMMISIONERS DIDN’T LISTEN THEN EITHER.  THANK GOD ELECTIONS ARE HELD ALL DAY LONG AND ARE COMING SOON. 

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