Board of Ap­peals to hold hear­ing re­gard­ing Four Sea­sons project

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Board of Ap­peals will hold an ev­i­den­tiary hear­ing re­gard­ing the ap­proval of Phase One site plans for the Four Sea­sons project at 5 p.m. Wed­nes­day, July 13, in the of­fice of the Board of Ap­peals, 160 Cour­se­vall Drive, Centreville. The Four Sea­sons project by K. Hov­na­nian is pro­posed to be lo­cated along Cas­tle Ma­rina and Ben­ton roads on Kent Is­land.

The county’s Board of Ap­peals held a joint pub­lic hear­ing May 11 re­gard­ing ap­peals of three prior de­ci­sions made by the county’s Depart­ment of Plan­ning and Zon­ing and the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion re­gard­ing the pro­posed Four Sea­sons de­vel­op­ment.

Two of the ap­peals — filed by Robert W. Fo­ley, Jr., Carolyn A. Fo­ley, James M. Wim­satt Jr. and Karen Wim­satt — re­gard­ing the is­suance of sed­i­ment con­trol and grad­ing per­mits to K. Hov­na­nian’s Four Sea­sons were dropped as both Joe Stevens, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing K. Hov­na­nian, and Rose­mary Greene, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the ap­pel­lants, agreed both per­mit is­suances were “moot” at this point.

“We’re only talk­ing about a grad­ing per­mit that has been with­drawn, so it’s not even pend­ing any more, and we’re talk­ing about a grad­ing per­mit ... that was to al­low some ar­chae­o­log­i­cal field stud­ies to be done and that work has been com­pleted, and it’s been com­pleted for 10 years,” Board of Ap­peals At­tor­ney Sager Wil­liams Jr. said.

In as­so­ci­a­tion with the pub­lic hear­ing re­gard­ing those per­mits, no mem­bers of the pub­lic chose to speak.

A Board of Ap­peals meet­ing was held on June 23 in which K. Hov­na­nian re­quested a con­tin­u­ance of the case un­til July 13, which the ap­pel­lants agreed to.

Prior to the meet­ing, Stevens agreed to al­low Jay Fal­stad, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Queen Anne’s Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion Inc., to read a state­ment to “sharpen” the view for a third ap­peal heard by the board about the plan­ning com­mis­sion grant­ing fi­nal sub­di­vi­sion ap­proval for Phase One of Four Sea­sons. The Queen Anne’s Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion Inc. joined the Fo­leys and Wim­satts in that ap­peal.

Fal­stad said in De­cem­ber 2005 when the plan­ning com­mis­sion ap­proved the fi­nal site plan and sub­di­vi­sion for phase one of the project, cer­tain find­ings were re­quired to make such an ap­proval. Such find­ings in­cluded, “cre­ate no un­ac­cept­able traf­fic con­ges­tion or safety haz­ards ... pro­tect en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive ar­eas and no(t) sub­stan­tially in­crease stormwa­ter, drainage or pol­lu­tion ... be com­pat­i­ble in de­sign with the ex­ist­ing de­vel­op­ment in the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood ... and have no ad­verse af­fect on pub­lic wel­fare,” Fal­stad said.

“These are the pri­mary is­sues that we want the board to re­solve as K. Hov­na­nian at­tempts to de­fend the 2005 find­ings of the plan­ning com­mis­sion,” Fal­stad said, men­tion­ing the case should be sent back to the plan­ning com­mis­sion to amend the phase one plan. The Board of Ap­peals unan­i­mously voted that it had the au­thor­ity to hear the ap­peal and de­nied the re­quest for it to go back to the plan­ning com­mis­sion. The board also voted to limit the July 13 hear­ing to the four topics Fal­stad read in his state­ment.

Stevens said the ar­gu­ment for send­ing the plan back to the plan­ning com­mis­sion is be­cause it’s been a decade and “all these things have changed.” But, Stevens said, K. Hov­na­nian be­lieves very lit­tle has changed — “it’s the same project that got ap­proved by the plan­ning com­mis­sion.”

“There’s al­le­ga­tions of er­ror of the plan­ning com­mis­sion or al­le­ga­tions of er­ror as a re­sult of new laws be­cause of the changes. New laws came into ef­fect, now it doesn’t com­ply with the new laws, and so on and so forth,” Stevens said. “We dis­agree. The re­view’s with this board. This board has ju­ris­dic­tion. It’s plain and sim­ple.”

Stevens went on to say the firm be­lieves send­ing it back to the plan­ning com­mis­sion was “a tac­tic to take quite a bit longer.”

A mo­tion by Stevens to dis­miss the ap­peal was de­nied by the board.

All hear­ing sites are ac­ces­si­ble to in­di­vid­u­als with dis­abil­i­ties. Sign lan­guage in­ter­preters and as­sisted lis­ten­ing sys­tems are avail­able for in­di­vid­u­als with hear­ing im­pair­ments. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Tina Miles at 410-758-0322.

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