Plan­ners OK changes for sign, arche­o­log­i­cal site laws

Record Observer - - Business - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@ches­pub.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Text amend­ments to county laws re­gard­ing signs and arche­o­log­i­cal sites drew fa­vor­able rec­om­men­da­tions Nov. 10 from the Queen Anne’s County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, which met over the course of three ses­sions to dis­cuss the pro­pos­als. The amend­ments were in­tro­duced by County Com­mis­sioner Mark An­der­son.

With in­put from busi­ness own­ers and County Com­mis­sioner Robert Buckey, Helen Spinelli, prin­ci­pal plan­ner for Queen Anne’s County, drafted changes to the pro­posed text amend­ment 16-12 LED and Elec­tronic Signs. As pre­sented to the plan­ning com­mis­sion, the changes re­flected the sur­face area copy of any LED or elec­tronic sign may change no more than ev­ery 30 sec­onds. Pre­vi­ous text al­lowed for sign to change no more than once per day.

The pro­posed text amend­ment also al­lows for not only al­pha­betic and nu­meric char­ac­ters on a plain back­ground (as cur­rently ex­ists), but also pro­vides for graphic, pic­to­rial, com­pany or busi­ness lo­gos or pho­to­graphic images. The amend­ments to code 16-12 were found fa­vor­able by the ma­jor­ity of the mem­bers of the plan­ning com­mis­sion and will be for­warded to the county com­mis­sion­ers for con­sid­er­a­tion.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the plan­ning com­mis­sion made rec­om­men­da­tions to the county com­mis­sion­ers on text amend­ments to county or­di­nance 16-14 and 16-15 es­tab­lish­ing cri­te­ria for the preser­va­tion of arche­o­log­i­cal re­sources and es­tab­lish­ing a de­vel­op­ment re­view process; and re­vi­sions to cri­te­ria for ma­jor and mi­nor ex­trac­tion op­er­a­tions.

The plan­ning com­mis­sion ac­knowl­edged that Kent Is­land is one of the old­est English set­tle­ments in Mary­land and it has, as does the rest of Queen Anne’s County, many arche­o­log­i­cal re­sources that may be ap­pro­pri­ate to iden­tify and pre­serve as prop­er­ties are dis­turbed and de­vel­oped in the county.

The pro­posed text amend­ment seeks to add cri­te­ria for the preser­va­tion of arche­o­log­i­cal re­sources and es­tab­lish a de­vel­op­ment re­view process for cer­tain ap­pli­ca­tions.

The plan­ning com­mis­sion heard from cit­i­zens and busi­ness own­ers re­gard­ing the high cost as­so­ci­ated with field in­ves­ti­ga­tions and con­cerns that re­quir­ing landown­ers to prove his­toric sig­nif­i­cance or lack thereof was pre­sented an “un­fair bur­den” and one that might lead to ap­peals or de­lays of their de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions.

The three-page pro­posed text amend­ment (which can be found in its en­tirety in the min­utes of the plan­ning com­mis­sion) were re­ceived fa­vor­ably by the plan­ning com­mis­sion with the rec­om­men­da­tion to the county that the county con­sider that if staff rec­om­mends a Phase II and/or Phase III arche­o­log­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tion the ex­pense be borne by some­one other than the landowner and that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion be com­pleted in a timely man­ner of 180 days or the landowner be al­lowed to move for­ward.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Cen­tre­ville Man­u­fac­tur­ing has opened a re­tail store in Kent Is­land Shop­ping Cen­ter.

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