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PUBLIC HEARING - November 13, 2007


November 13, 2007

A public hearing was held today at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners’ Hearing Room, County Government Center, Chestertown, Maryland. The purpose of the hearing is to receive comments on the proposed Kennedyville Village Master Plan as presented by the Kent County Planning Commission.

County Commissioners Roy Crow, Ronald Fithian, and William Pickrum, were in attendance as well as Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, Gail Owings, Director Planning, Carla Martin, Community Planner, Elizabeth Morris, Chairman, Reverend Ruben Freeman and William Sutton, representing the Planning Commission, Scott Emerson, E. John Hoagland, Barry Feaga and one member of the media.

Commissioner Crow read the Notice of Public Hearing into the record.

Ms. Martin gave a power point presentation on the proposed plan. The project began in December 2005 when the Planning Commission met with consultants to review the Kennedyville area. The draft plan was presented to the Planning Commission in January. Ms. Martin informed that the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, Parks and Recreation, and the State Highway Administration were all consulted on the project. The Village Master Plan attempts to balance growth and local concerns by preserving the rural character of the village and recognizing that some amount of development is appropriate.

As of 2006, there are 97 households in Kennedyville with 128 users being served by public water and sewer, which was recently upgraded. Zoning for the area has been in place since the 1960’s and Village zoning has been in place since 1989. Kennedyville has a strong rural and agricultural aesthetic and has a mix of single family and detached style housing. The Kennedyville community expressed concerns related to safety and the lack of lighting and walking paths in the community.

The Village Master Plan presented four alternatives for the community, including the existing zoning, limited growth, modified growth, and modified limited growth. The modified limited growth scenario includes 172 approximate acres, 347 estimated residential units, and an estimated population of 809. Ms. Martin highlighted areas that the consultant felt are appropriate for growth and those appropriate for agriculture. The consultants suggested starting at the 4 corners of Kennedyville and going out approximately 1500 feet to make the boundaries of Kennedyville. The Planning Commission recommended that this area be left open for village expansion if the basic uses are compatible. Ms. Martin reminded that the Village Master Plan includes recommendations for street network, sidewalks, trails, and key pedestrian crossings. The plan also provides traffic calming concepts, including putting the gateway signage on either entrance from MD 213 in an effort to calm traffic entering and do improvement at the four corners and the railroad crossings. A clear village edge between what is developed and what would be left as agriculture has also been included in the plan.

The Village Master Plan attempts to create a Village Center at the Crossroads and Greenbelt edge. It also encourages walkable community design and recognizes historic and cultural resources, while encouraging adoption of design guidelines. Lot size has been determined by style of the buildings and locations within the village. An estimated 10 homes will be added to the village per year.

Commissioner Crow read a letter from Elizabeth Morris, Chairman, Planning Commission into the record. At its October 4 meeting, the Planning Commission unanimously passed a resolution to adopt the Kennedyville Village Master Plan as an Appendix to the Comprehensive Plan of Kent County.

Commissioner Crow questioned whether there was any discussion of expansion of the Village employment area or for light industry since it is located on a major highway. Ms. Martin stated that this was not addressed under zoning, however, the central area of the village was considered for office use. She stated that the center of the village was determined as appropriate for office and retail uses. Commissioner Crow stated that the area located on the north side of the railroad tracks would be a logical area for light industry due to its location on a major highway. He questioned whether there would be a way of attaching rezoning of the area, despite the lack of a TDR program, if light industry were added to this area. Ms. Martin stated that the Planning Commission can look into the TDR program for the area. If the point on the southeast corner were developed, with commercial areas on the north side of MD 213, residents would have to cross a major busy highway to get to the commercial areas. The area already zoned for housing is in the same area as the commercial areas, which would keep residents from having to pass the major highway.

Commissioner Pickrum commented on the addition of sidewalks in the area. He stated that the locations of the sidewalks on both sides of MD 213 will take a significant amount of land when the houses are already relatively close to the highway.

Mr. Sutton commented that a portion of the eastern section of MD 213 was removed in the plan because the intersection was dangerous to the community.

Commissioner Fithian questioned the criteria for determining whether a duplex would be approved in Kennedyville community. Mrs. Owings informed that the plan provides specific criteria as to when a duplex would be approved.

Commissioner Pickrum questioned how the Kennedyville Master Plan meshes with presentations on workforce housing. Mrs. Owings stated that the plan incorporates workforce housing into the area by allowing for duplexes and addressing cottage housing.

It was noted that the Board has 60 days to reach a final decision regarding the proposed Village Master Plan. Public comments will be accepted until Tuesday, November 20.

This hearing was taped for reference and adjourned at 6:45 p.m.


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Roy W. Crow, President