Board of Appeals holds Four Seasons hearing
In case you didn’t see the sign (which no one would since it’s been posted at the end of a dead end street), Four Seasons is coming up before the county Board of Appeals on Wednesday, May 11, at 5 p.m. at the Planning and Zoning conference room, 160 Coursevall Drive, Centreville. The last time county residents had a chance to speak to county leadership about this 1,079 unit condo project (9/17/13), the largest of its kind in Maryland Critical area history, they packed the Kent Island High School auditorium to capacity. Nearly 50 people testified – speaking 4-1 in opposition to the project (and only five of those in favor being county residents!).
That sentiment has been repeated for years by both Kent Islanders and county residents – in fact, when last polled on the topic, 61 percent of Kent Island voters and 52 percent of county voters opposed the project (2013, Public Opinion Strategies, a polling firm which conducts the NBC Wall Street Journal poll, and is the largest Republican polling firm in the country). Three-in-five county residents (59 percent) and 65 percent of Kent Island residents also felt that the negative impact to water, traffic and local way of living outweighed potential economic benefits.
The release last week of a new report on the effects of sea level rise and storm surge on Kent Island identifies the significant vulnerabilities that already exist in the Chester area in terms of emergency services, evacuation routes, utilities, and impacts to private, residential and commercial development. (Go to the County website and take a look at the report — QAC Sea Level Rise and Coastal Vulnerability Assessment and Implementation Plan). There is no longer any question about whether there will be deleterious outcomes to current residents if thousands more residents move into this highly vulnerable region of the county.
I urge you to come to the Board of Appeals meeting and support those who are asking that Four Seasons be returned to the Planning Commission for re-evaluation in light of today’s realities on Kent Island.
Let’s once again pack the room to capacity, and tell Board members that this is the wrong development, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.