Wheatlands public hearing set Dec. 14
QUEENSTOWN — Town Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, regarding the growth allocation for the Wheatlands property where commercial development is proposed.
The public hearing is at the town offices, 7013 Main St. in Queenstown.
Wheatlands is a 148-acre track of land on U.S. Route 301 across from the outlets and near the Route 301 and U.S. Route 50 split. The property also is referred to as the Waterman property since it is owned by the Waterman Family Limited Partnership.
At their meeting on Oct. 26, the town commissioners introduced an ordinance that applies the growth allocation floating zone district to reclassify 59.7 acres of the critical area lands within the property from resource conservation area to intensely developed area. At that point, the commissioners set the public hearing on the ordinance.
The Waterman family hopes to build a commercial development on the property. The development could include retail space, commercial space, offices, and an assistant living facility. At maximum, 500,000 square feet of space can be developed.
Wheatlands has been the subject of a court battle between the town, the property owner, and the Queen Anne’s Conser vation Association.
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals heard oral arguments Nov. 3 on whether the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners had the legal right to reverse their decision on a five-year waiting period for rezoning the property.
The issue before the court goes back several years. Queenstown annexed the property in 2014 and received a waiver from the sitting county commissioners on having to wait five years to change the land use and zoning. But the new county commissioners, who were elected that year, rescinded the waiver.
The Waterman partnership took the matter to the Circuit Court of Queen Anne’s County, which declared the decision by the new commissioners to be void, thereby upholding the waiver.
Several citizens and the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association appealed the Circuit Court’s decision to the Court of Special Appeals. Their lawyer asked the appeals court to reverse the Circuit Court’s decision, which would mean the waiver is void.
The Court of Special Appeals hasn’t released a decision yet.