Board of Ap­peals holds Four Sea­sons hear­ing

Record Observer - - Opinion -

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.

Stevensville

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