Queen­stown plan al­tered to in­clude Wheat­lands

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

QUEEN­STOWN — The Queen­stown Town Com­mis­sion­ers have unan­i­mously ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion to amend the town’s 2010 Com­mu­nity Plan “to re­flect the an­nex­a­tion, re­zon­ing, and fu­ture de­vel­op­ment” of the Wheat­lands prop­erty.

At their meet­ing on July 13, the com­mis­sion­ers adopted Res­o­lu­tion 16-103 on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the town plan­ning com­mis­sion, which de­ter­mined that the com­mu­nity plan should be up­dated with de­vel­op­ment of the Wheat­lands prop­erty pend­ing.

Wheat­lands is a 148-acre tract of land near the Route 50-Route 301 split owned by the Water­man Fam­ily Lim­ited Part­ner­ship that was an­nexed into Queen­stown in Septem­ber 2014. Barry Water­man stated ear­lier there is a po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment area of about 75 acres in the mid­dle of the prop­erty with a 300foot buf­fer pro­vid­ing a “vir­tu­ally im­pen­e­tra­ble vis­ual screen” for peo­ple liv­ing across the Wye River from Wheat­lands.

Water­man was the only per­son who tes­ti­fied at a pub­lic hear­ing prior to pas­sage of the res­o­lu­tion.

“It’s been sug­gested that mak­ing changes to the [com­pre­hen­sive] plan are in­ap­pro­pri­ate. It’s, in fact, un­der the Mary­land land use ar­ti­cle, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and coun­ties’ obli­ga­tion to up­date their comp plan on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” Water­man tes­ti­fied. “You’re priv­i­leged to up­date the comp plan when­ever there’s a sig­nif­i­cant change that war­rants it.”

He said the rec­om­men­da­tions of the plan­ning com­mis­sion “make a lot of sense and they’re ap­pro­pri­ate.”

The town re­ceived two let­ters in op­po­si­tion to the res­o­lu­tion, one from Ed Modell who lives in the Hick­ory Ridge com­mu­nity across the Wye River from Wheat­lands, and one from Queen Anne’s Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion.

Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Jay Fal­stad said the or­ga­ni­za­tion is op­posed to the Wheat­lands project and also wrote on be­half of Queen­stown res­i­dent Kathleen Boomer and Hick­ory Ridge res­i­dents Stacy L. Swart­wood, Marie J. McNurlan, and Paul A. McNurlan, “whose prop­er­ties abut or are in close prox­im­ity to Wheat­lands.”

Modell wrote that his prop­erty, which he said is “di­rectly across the very nar­row head­wa­ters of the Wye River will be di­rectly and nega­tively im­pacted” by the de­vel­op­ment of the Wheat­lands project.

Plans for the prop­erty call only for com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment and no res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment.

The Water­man in­ter­ests pre­sented to the town last Novem­ber a con­cept plan for the site and em­pha­sized that it only shows what might fit on the prop­erty and is not con­sid­ered to be the fi­nal word on the lay­out. Water­man said the part­ner­ship does not yet have any ten­ants for the prop­erty.

WATER­MAN FAM­ILY LIM­ITED PART­NER­SHIP IM­AGE

This con­cept plan for the Wheat­lands prop­erty was pre­sented to the Queen­stown town com­mis­sion­ers by the Water­man Fam­ily Lim­ited Part­ner­ship to give an idea how the land might be used. It is not a fi­nal plan.

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