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
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.”