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February 2012


Message from the President...


In the past couple of weeks, the APFO (Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance) petition circulated by (QAC Great Schools- 3 citizen sponsors) was created to cause fear of having overcrowded schools in the immediate future! This cannot be further from the truth!! Who in their right mind wants to have overcrowding in our schools?


Note: The APFO is a multi-complex temporary timing tool to be used in conjunction with the Comprehensive Plan--to make it work, one needs to analyze ALL the components for each proposed plan and pulling out one segment (schools) is a slick way to confuse the parents and residents alike. The QAC COMPREHENSIVE PLAN is the foundation for all decision-making in matters involving land use planning and growth management.


Did you know that if you live in towns such as Centreville, Queenstown, Barclay, Church Hill, Sudlersville and Millington-this issue does not apply to you or school capacity! They govern their own building permits and have their own zoning laws.


The threshold of 120% school capacity is the healthiest vs. the 100% petition driven claim!


Recently, the commissioners have returned the threshold from 100% to the traditional 120% to ensure that we have healthy schools and a healthy economy. Former commissioner Ransom lowered the threshold to 100% a few years ago to bow down to the environmental group and growth control pressures. This petition was masqueraded as a means to stop overcrowding, but in reality it is a means to stop All development--commercialism and residential. The builder's product is, after all, only in demand because of the job growth - and this is greatly lacking in QAC!


So, why the big uproar? Why the need for such a petition? When all we have to do is look at Talbot County and watch them flourish while QAC time after time chases business away to neighboring counties. Try to get a consensus from the growth control advocates on where the additional housing, new business and new neighbors should live- and don't be surprised if it's not in my back yard or school district.


Keep QAC eligible for state matching funds to build new schools!


Although, there are a range of factors to determine when a school reaches its capacity, it is noted that if we maintain the 100% threshold; we are simply disqualifying QAC from any potential state funded matching monies to build new schools. Vying for competing funds is a pursuit in every jurisdiction and one way is keeping the 120% threshold; QAC schools will be in a favorable position to be viewed as a priority by the State to provide matching school funds. In other words, why would the State feel the need to help out QAC when the school population is only at 100% and other counties are way over that percentage? Right now, only Queen Anne's County high school has reached its capacity by 75 students according to the QAC Board of Education. Currently, the QACHS population is 1210 and the school was constructed for 1135 students.


What causes Past and Future Growth in Student Enrollment?


Birth rates, student migration from private schools, immigration to QAC from other parts of the country, turnover of existing houses from older persons to younger families with young or school age children and new job growth and residential construction. (Future trends of home sales have yet to emerge in the aftermath of the recent recession and our job growth is terribly lacking.)


Portables have been used for decades without impacting the quality of education.


Currently, there's 29 portables located at 9 of our schools (we have 15 schools). QAC graduates some 600 students a year, more than enough to make up for any new students entering the system. "No significant impact of portable classrooms on teacher perception, teacher morale, teacher job satisfaction, student achievement, and behavior is detected." Source: NCEF-National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities


QAC building industry is off by more than 70%, this translates into a greatly reduced revenue stream for our local government to pay its bills.


In the last two years, only 195 new homes were constructed...with an APFO in place, no builder can develop a tract of land unless the supporting county infrastructure (schools, roads, water supply, waste water disposal etc...) are in place. So if a developer builds a subdivision, their plans/concepts have to pass numerous APFO measurements that are aligned with the Comprehensive Plan and are forced to shoulder the social cost (Impact Fees) of extending the public facilities. At the 100% threshold rate, that means a developer/builder would have to pay for school construction. And that isn't going to happen, merely because there are no developers/builders who want to go bankrupt. Currently, most new residential construction will likely be mixed use buildings/multi-family apartments, as a result of minimal space left in the County under the zoning guidelines.


Example: Say a TARGET retail store wants to open in QAC--(after going thru numerous critical reviews and studies and spending thousands of dollars), Target would have to pay for any improvements to the roads, sewer, water, disposals etc. to ensure the adequacies are met for the health and welfare of our residents. Businesses like Target, Penny's, Giant, etc.,  always financially support schools and charities-just look in the Star Democrat newspaper in Talbot county.


A new 2,500 sf home will pay an $11,250 Impact Fee ($9,200 to schools, $1,050 to fire/EMS and $1,000 to parks and recreation).


Every new home built in the County that is not an "age-restricted community"  pays an Impact Fee that generates revenue for schools, fire and emergency services and parks and recreation. The  Impact Fee for a new home is $4.50/sf with $3.68/sf allocated for schools, $0.42/sf allocated for Fire and Emergency services and $0.40/sf allocated for parks and recreation facilities.  Once that home is built it then generates annual property tax revenue and its occupants generate annual income tax revenues which come back to the County General Fund used to pay for school operating expenses and other County services.


Many of the opponents do not seem to understand that by trying to stop residential development they are also stopping the flow of new revenue used to support and build the schools they seek to protect and enhance.  New homes do create additional students but they also create additional funding.  Without this additional funding, the burden for paying for our schools will fall almost exclusively on the existing taxpayers. 


We are human beings, who grow up, have babies and need homes and jobs. We aren't going away.    


Developers, bankers, real estate agents, surveyors, engineers, title company owners, carpenters, painters, carpet layers, service/retail suppliers etc. are the people in the community that create jobs, fill vacant properties, hire local contractors, frequent restaurants and donate thousands to school athletics, activities and County sports/parks etc.!


People who moved here in the last 15-20 years, now, want to decide, "Who can move here and who can't!" If you moved here--YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.


The no growth organizations promoting the overcrowded schools myth tout the so-called quality of life, at the expense of shutting down the local economy. And forcing residents to pay for higher property taxes, travel hundreds of miles to work and shop year after year and watch our quality schools produce the finest students, only to realize the odds of them returning to work and live in QAC are slim for the lack of housing and job/commercial opportunities.


We cannot continue restricting the property rights of owners or the ability of business owners and potential business to minimize the risks involved in creating, expanding and opening shop in QAC.

BQA Supports Ordinances

BQA Vice President, Mareen Waterman, sent letters of support to the County Commissioners regarding Ordinance 11-17 and 11-24 on January 24, 2012.


Ordinance 11-17 is an act concerning the Grasonville Gateway and Medical Center Zone. Mr. Waterman noted, "The Grasonville Gateway will become an important part of the Queen Anne's County economy, providing many with significant employment. It will also greatly enhance the health care of our citizens."


Regarding Ordinance 11-24, which is an act concerning the establishment of a Property Tax Credit for Certain Businesses, Mareen stated, "We believe it will lead to an increase in our commercial tax base, as well as create badly needed employment opportunities." He went on to say, "Such innovative ideas are long overdue in our County and we look forward to congratulating you on it's passage."


The Grasonville Gateway ordinance has been adopted and will become effective on March 3rd of this year. While Ordinance 11-24 has had a hearing, it has yet to be adopted. The County Commissioner's do not have a meeting on the schedule again until February 14th.

Farm Bureau Fundraiser - Feb 18th 
Save Farm Families
(Click on logo above to visit site and read about the Hudson lawsuit!)
Farm Bureau Fundraiser
Saturday, Feb 18th
From 3-7 PM
at the 4 H Park in Centreville


Tickets available at
the door for $35
Thank you to our BQA Members who have stepped up to sponsor this event, donate auction items and will be attending!
BQA Congratulates Barry Waterman!
At their January 12th meeting, the Planning Commission voted Barry Waterman as their new chairman. According to Barry, he feels he is a good person to keep the meetings moving forward and keep everyone on track. 

So BUSINESS Queen Anne's congratulates Barry Waterman!
We know you will continue to do a great job! 
Economic Development Presents 10 Point Plan

10 Point Economic Development Initiatives Plan


Presented on Jan 12th at the Planning Commission Meeting

by Jean Fabi, Business & Economic Development Liaison**


1. Adoption of tax credit ordinance consistent with existing MD State Tax Code legislation (Ordinance 11-24)


2. Continue to monitor the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) guidelines to ensure all opportunities are realized and support funding at greater levels.


3. Lock step with state funding and program options- pursuing use of MEDAF funds for local projects.


4. Promote advantages of Maryland Made Easy program (or any current state initiative to facilitate economic development)


5. Propose amendments to simplify development review process and internal policieswith the expectation that they remain consistent for a minimum of three years.


6. Modify APFO, floodplain and other ordinances or legislation as appropriate to facilitate #5


7. Movement of Job Creation Tax Credit PFA from Centreville to Chester/ Stevensville/ Grasonville areas.

- DBED and MDP approval received for proposed changes

- future amendments to map required

- CC agenda item for 1/24

- DBED has legislative amendment in to raise the tax credit from $1,000 to $5,000 during current legislative session.


8.Development of Economic Development 10 year plan - EDC pursuing, Chamber mentioned at their breakfast on Thursday 1/19


9. Identification of industry segments to target (healthcare, research/mfg, education, green initiatives) to support from an existing and potential business perspective.


10. Wow Factor - Dedicate significant funding towards QAC ED Incentive Fund CC added a # 11 to the plan - develop and RFP for marketing Queen Anne's County and available properties. Gregg Todd is writing the RFP for this item.



**In addition, in an effort to more fully implement several of these, a personnel change is being implemented to formally establish a Business and Economic Development Liaison position located within the Department of Planning and Zoning but with a dual reporting role to both Steve Cohoon and myself. As such, Jean Fabi, will be assuming that role and be located in Centreville. She will function as the primary point of contact for new or existing businesses as they require resources and assistance for project development, funding, grants, and employment needs.

In This Issue
BQA Supports Ordinances
Farm Bureau Fundraiser
Congratulations Barry!
Econ Dev 10 Pt Plan
Mark Your Calendar


Your BQA Board!


Camille O'Donnell

O'Donnell Properties



Mareen Waterman

Coldwell Banker/Waterman Realty



Nick Deoudes

Deoudes-Magafan Realty, Inc.



Mike Dahle

Bay Carpets Flooring America



Karen Oertel

Harris Crab House



Tim Champion

Champion Improvements Inc.



Bob Wilson

Mears Point Marina



Al Helfenbein

Helfenbein Insurance Agency



Cheryl Russell

Delmarva Power



Barry Griffith

Lane Engineering



Steve Donovan

Title One & Associates, Inc.



Colby Garrett 

CM Garrett, Inc.  



George O'Donnell




Sandra Early 






BQA Membership
New Investment Rate!


Business Queen Anne's is now offering a special rate for new members!


 $99 per year for three years!


Click the link below to download an application!




Mark Your Calendar...


County Commissioner's Meeting

Second and Fourth

Tuesday of the month!

Click here for weekly agendas!

107 N. Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617
Planning Commission Meetings
160 Coursevall Drive
 Centreville, MD 21617



Monday, Feb 20th

Happy President's Day!


Also, February 20th is

Hoodie-Hoo Day!


On this winter day, people go out at noon, wave their hands over their heads and chant "Hoodie-Hoo".


It is a day to chase away winter and bring in spring. After all, everyone is sick and tired of winter at this point and a little crazy being cooped up inside all winter and not seeing the sun.


(Sure we've had a mild winter, but sounds like fun!)



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