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Testimony of the Kent Island Defense League (KIDL) to the Planning Commission, January 25, 2006

In the spring of 2005 KIDL issued a press release in full support of the Chester/Stevensville Community Plan, as proposed by the Chester/Stevensville Citizenís Advisory Committee. 

Based on careful review of the communityís strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities, the Citizenís Advisory Committee (CAC) recognized the severe problems caused by too much high-density growth and commercial strip development, which include traffic gridlock, environmental threats to the bays and rivers and a general reduction in the quality of life.  The CAC recognized that without clear standards for development there will be no certainty in outcomes.  Most of the members of the CAC who lived in the area recognized how serious these issues were and that they needed to be addressed immediately.  Many corrective actions were proposed in the Citizenís Community Plan.

The Community Plan which is the subject of tonightís hearing is a revision of the original Citizenís Community Plan and is very different from the original draft.  The Planning Commission has either eliminated or watered down the solutions to the problems that were addressed in the Citizenís Community Plan.

A major emphasis of the Citizenís Community Plan was to REDUCE the Growth area.  However, in the plan that is before you tonight the Growth area, now called the Community Planning Area, is actually larger and has been expanded south, down to Matapeake, including Camp Wright.  We are asked to believe that including Camp Wright in the Growth  area and giving it S1W1 designation does not mean development there. 

The Citizenís Community Plan also called for the following restrictions:

No further award of growth allocation in critical areas.
Elimination of SMPD and CMPD zoning, as it is so open ended and has caused so many development problems. 
Strict adherence to height limitations in the Bay Bridge/Airport area
Strict adherence to the boundary of Terrapin Park, not allowing the sewer plant to impinge on this area.
No extension of sewer and water service outside the designated Growth Area down Rt. 8.
Emphasis on Chester/Stevensville Separation Greenbelt Areas

In the Planning Commission Plan (the present draft) all of the above items have been so softened with new wording that any suggestion of restrictions can be ignored, if deemed appropriate by QAC staff and officials.

KIDL strongly recommends that the above listed changes be revisited.

Additionally, much has been lost by moving Chapter 5 of the original plan, which was the citizenís (CACís)  Vision for the Chester/Stevensville Community, and in reality was the heart and soul of the Plan, to the appendix in the back of the Planning Commission draft (appendix C). 

KIDL  strongly recommends that the following stipulations, which have been removed from the text of the Plan and placed in the Appendix, be placed back in the main body of the plan. 

1.ďBecause Kent Island has already absorbed more than its sustainable capacity, growth outside the community planning areas will be limited to low density lots ranging from one unit per five (5) acres to one unit per twenty (20) acres, in order to protect the environmentally sensitive areas that had not been developed prior to 2004.

2.  ďThe development of clear and objective methodologies are implemented to assess  the transportation, environmental and fiscal impacts of development proposals that can be clearly understood and provide outcomes that can be trusted by developers and residents alike.

3.  ďA role will be established for a citizenís board to advise the Planning Commission and County Commissioners regarding the implementation of the Community PlanĒ.

By revisiting the above listed eliminations and changes and by putting the three listed stipulations back into the main body of the text, the resulting Community Plan would likely be supported by the citizens of Chester, Stevensville and the surrounding areas, and would be a positive a step toward restoring the faith of the citizens in their County Government.

Respectfully submitted, 

The Kent Island Defense League 

qacc@qac.org  (mail to this address goes to all 5 Commissioners)

KIDL Web Guy Says:  Write to our Commissioners!  QAC Voter's Guide Lists Campaign Promises

 bcassell@qac.orggransom@qac.org  | mkoval@qac.org
jcupani@qac.org  |  rsmith@qac.org


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