SEWER

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sion, Mat­a­peake Es­tates, Nor­mans, Sunny Isle of Kent, Ch­e­sa­peake Es­tates, Kent­morr, Queen Anne Colony, Kent Is­land Es­tates, Tower Gar­dens and Ro­man­coke on the Bay, are all zoned NC-20.

Quinn owns prop­erty in Tower Gar­dens and Kent­morr. Queen Anne’s Re­search and Devel­op­ment Corp. owns more than 200 lots in the area of Kent­morr and Queen Anne’s Colony.

Res­o­lu­tion 14-07 es­tab­lished the South Kent Is­land Waste­water Sub­dis­trict, defin­ing its bound­aries and fi­nanc­ing a pub­lic sewage col­lec­tion and trans­mis­sion sys­tem for it.

Quinn said the laws un­con­sti­tu­tion­ally tar­geted him and his prop­erty and elim­i­nated the prop­erty’s eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity.

He also al­leged MDE acted in vi­o­la­tion of his due process un­der the Four­teenth Amend­ment to the United States Con­sti­tu­tion by ap­prov­ing the 2011 Queen Anne’s County Com­pre­hen­sive Wa­ter and Sewer Plan, which ex­cluded

Quinn’s parcels.

On Aug. 13, 2015, Judge Ge­orge L. Rus­sell III granted mo­tions to dis­miss filed by the county, MDE and Sum­mers. Rus­sell found Quinn failed to show his in­vest­ment was backed by any le­git­i­mate ex­pec­ta­tion that his parcels would be pro­vided with pub­lic sewer ser­vice.

“While the chal­lenged ac­tion does cause some eco­nomic harm as­so­ci­ated with the loss of in­di­vid­ual un­re­stricted rights of ac­cess to the pri­vate beach­front and cer­tain Trans­ferrable Devel­op­ment Rights of each in­di­vid­ual

lot, the Court finds that the lots are not stripped of all ben­e­fi­cial use be­cause they are sim­ply de­vel­opable as larger res­i­den­tial lots,” Rus­sell wrote in his opin­ion.

The judge agreed with the county’s ar­gu­ment that Quinn, while he might be the largest prop­erty owner af­fected, was not treated dif­fer­ently be­cause other own­ers of un­de­vel­oped lots are sub­ject to the same pro­vi­sions and also have been ex­cluded from the ser­vice area.

In his opin­ion, Rus­sell noted the specifics of the laws passed re­lat­ing to the

South­ern Kent Is­land sewer project as “pro­mo­tion of the gen­eral wel­fare.”

In the Court of Ap­peals opin­ion, Wilkin­son wrote, “Quinn made a spec­u­la­tive in­vest­ment in land that needed sewer ser­vice to be de­vel­oped. He now asks us to force the County and State to as­sure him prof­itabil­ity. But find­ing a prop­erty in­ter­est in re­ceiv­ing sewer ser­vice or re­quir­ing com­pen­sa­tion for the stan­dard zon­ing tool of the Grand­fa­ther/Merger Pro­vi­sion would be a se­vere blow to com­mu­ni­ties’ abil­ity to man­age growth in a con­struc­tive man­ner. Not

putting in new sewer con­nec­tions can cause hu­man waste to back up in fail­ing sep­tic sys­tems; putting in new sewer con­nec­tions, es­pe­cially on va­cant lots, can pro­vide an im­pe­tus for ex­ces­sive growth. Lo­cal gov­ern­ments re­quire flex­i­bil­ity to ex­pand ser­vices like the sewer in re­sponse to com­mu­nity needs; those gov­ern­ments also must be able to con­trol the den­sity of devel­op­ment in or­der to pre­vent over­crowd­ing of schools, clog­ging of streets, over­load on sewer fa­cil­i­ties, degra­da­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment, and a host of other con­cerns.”

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