January 2018

CONOWINGO UPDATE
STATE AWARDS CONOWINGO DAM PILOT DREDGING CONTRACT
Cecil Whig
January 2, 2018

"The state has announced that it intends to award a contract to two California-based firms to conduct a pilot project to dredge part of the sediment backup behind the Conowingo Dam.

'Today marks another important milestone in our progress to address critical environmental needs at the Conowingo Dam,' said Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement. 'This project is one element of our multi-prong approach to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and it is another great example of how we are using innovative approaches to solve the most pressing environmental challenges.'

Built in 1928, the Conowingo Dam has over time accumulated a significant amount of sediment flowing downstream from as far north as Cooperstown, N.Y., where the Susquehanna River begins. Now, the dam is reaching its capacity, with an estimated 31 million cubic yards of sediment behind the dam.

That sediment backup poses a significant environmental risk, according to researchers. Without the dam, the sediment would still flow naturally into the bay. However, because of the dam, the sediment comes as a shock to the ecosystem, as large amounts of sediment rush through the dam with heavy rains.

To address this, the Hogan administration announced in August that it would issue a request for proposals (RFP) process to select a pilot project to dredge 25,000 cubic yards of the sediment backup behind the Conowingo Dam, examine the material and determine the impact of full-scale dredging, which has been estimated to cost up to $3 billion. The project would also determine whether the dredged material can be reused for another purpose."

Click HERE for more about Northgate Environmental Management, Inc. (Northgate) and HERE for more about the Dutra Group (Dutra), the two firms awarded the contracts.

QAC COMMISSIONERS 2017 YEAR IN REVIEW
Click the graphic below to link to the 
Queen Anne's County Commissioner's Power Point Presentation.
 

SKI DEVELOPER PETITIONS SUPREME COURT
South Kent Island developer urges Supreme Court to revive takings claim
By: Steve Lash 
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
January 4, 2018

A South Kent Island developer has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to revive his claim that Queen Anne's County must provide compensation for essentially compelling him by ordinance to combine his separate land parcels, substantially reducing the property's marketability.

Kevin Quinn, through counsel, claims the reduction in value due to the 2014 ordinance amounts to a governmental "taking" of his property for which he is owed "just compensation" under the federal Constitution. But that argument has failed in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the county's ordinance was needed to enable construction of a sewer system and did not financially harm Quinn because he retains marketable land.

Seeking the Supreme Court's review, Quinn's attorney David G. Sommer said the 4th Circuit erroneously regarded Quinn's property as a single unit and not as separate parcels of land, as the developer had intended them to be when he bought them nearly 30 years before the ordinance was enacted.
Thus, the appeals court failed to consider Quinn's "reasonable expectations" in rejecting his Takings Clause claim under the Constitution, Sommer wrote in papers filed with the justices last week.

The Supreme Court "should use this opportunity to reaffirm that courts must identify the relevant parcel affected by governmental regulation before proceeding to a takings analysis and in doing so, courts must consider the property owner's reasonable expectations as shaped by the treatment of the owner's parcels under state and local law," Sommer added in his request for high-court review.

The county and Maryland Department of the Environment have until Feb. 2 to reply to Quinn's request. The justices have not set a date for their consideration of whether to hear Quinn's appeal. The case is docketed at the Supreme Court as Kevin Quinn et al. v. Board of County Commissioners for Queen Anne's County, Md., et a, l.No. 17-945.

Quinn bought the undeveloped parcels of land on South Kent Island between 1984 and 1987 for residential development. The parcels, most of which were contiguous, ranged in size from 5,000 to 70,200 square feet, according to court papers.

Quinn's purchases predated a 1987 county ordinance barring residential development on lots smaller than 20,000 square feet. But in 2014, Queen Anne's adopted an ordinance prohibiting the approval of all building permits on lots smaller than 20,000 square feet so as not to interfere with the county's ability to build a sewer system on the island.

The ordinance essentially forced Quinn to merge his contiguous lots to meet the 20,000 square feet requirement for construction and "destroyed the separate character of each individual parcel" he had bought, Sommer wrote in arguing that Quinn's property was "taken."

"As a result of the ordinance, a resident dwelling can no longer be built on each of Quinn's individual lots and the lots cannot be sold individually," added Sommer, of Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP in Baltimore. "The ordinance eliminates the expectations Quinn acquired when he purchased each of the individual lots."

The 4th Circuit, in ruling against the developer, said the 2014 ordinance did "not interfere with Quinn's reasonable investment-backed expectations because his investment in the land was highly speculative" at the time of purchase.

The ordinance did not amount to a regulatory taking but was "a standard zoning provision designed to manage the density of development, a crucial part of land-use planning," the 4th Circuit held in its published July 7 decision. "To find a taking here would revolutionize zoning law and severely constrict local governments' ability to direct democratically the very nature and character of the community."
STATE DROUGHT ASSISTANCE DEADLINE APPROACHING
Deadline Approaching in Maryland for SBA Working Capital Loans Due to Drought

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations that Jan. 17 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in  Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Annes, Wicomico and Worcester counties in Maryland as a result of the drought from June 1 2016 through Sept. 29, 2016.

"These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Delaware.  The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East
in Atlanta.

Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.  Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.  
 
The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and terms up to
30 years. 

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
           
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA's website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than Jan. 17, 2018.

BQA MEMBERSHIP, SUPPORT & SPONSORSHIP
WHY do you need to JOIN, SUPPORT, SPONSOR BQA?

BQA keeps you INFORMED on issues facing economic development, jobs and opportunities right here IN QAC, so the 86% of County residents who spend too much time commuting out of the County and across the bridge every day can actually "LIVE, WORK & PLAY" right here in QAC!! 

If you know a business that would be a great asset as a member, please contact our Membership Chair, Jack Ashley at jackashley@me.com

You can also contact administrator@businessqueenannes.com for a copy of the following application!


BUSINESS Queen Anne's


A Coalition for Economic Development and Responsible Government

The mission of BUSINESS Queen Anne's is to actively advocate sound economic growth; review all proposed state and local legislation and regulations; provide an objective assessment of proposed development in Queen Anne's County and its incorporated towns; endorse and support countywide growth that is well managed and consistent with adopted state and local planning and regulatory guidelines, comprehensive plans, and state and local initiatives; create positive and "business friendly" attitudes on the part of Queen Anne's County elected and appointed officials; and support business activity that promotes and encourages a vibrant economy, development of an adequate labor pool, a fiscally responsible and accountable county government, and a continued unique quality of life in Queen Anne's County.
   
You can find BQA on Facebook! Make sure to "Like" us! 

 
In This Issue
Just a reminder that the 
Membership Dues Renewal Invoices 
have gone out and are now due
If you have any questions, 
please contact Sandra at
 

Your BQA Board!
 
Steve Donovan, President
Title One & Associates, Inc.
410-758-1831
 
Nick Deoudes
Deoudes-Magafan Realty, Inc.
410-827-5441
 
Mike Dahle
MCDLLC
410-820-7288

Bob Wilson
Mears Point Marina
410-827-8888
 
Gary Hofmann
QAC Sheriff's Department
410-758-0770

George O'Donnell
410-490-7400 
Jack Ashley
410-310-0800

Barry Waterman
Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty
410-643-5005
Sandra Early 
Administrator  
410-739-4716
SIGN UP FOR CITIZEN'S ALERT
Have you signed up for the County's Citizen's Alert yet?

Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for our Emergency Alert Program. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.

You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how.

Click on the logo below to sign up!

 
MEMBERS INVITED!

BUSINESS Queen Anne's would like to invite all members (and even member guests!) to attend our monthly board meetings typically held the last Thursday of the month at Mear's Point Marina. (Please contact the office at administrator@businessqueenannes.com to verify)

Occasionally, we have County reps visit and give us updates. At the last board meeting it was decided that the next time we have speakers at the board meetings we will give our members ample notice in case they would like to attend...we want you to be in the know!

If you have a speaker that you would like to connect with and you think that Business Queen Anne's could help make that happen, please let us know.
 
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

County Commissioner's Meeting

Second and Fourth

Tuesday of the month!

Click here for published agendas!

107 N. Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617
  
Planning Commission Meetings
160 Coursevall Drive
Centreville, MD 21617
(Same link above takes you to agendas for the Planning Commission too.) 

Visit the County's New Website to sign up for notices!
  

 
 
BQA wants you to get involved!

 
We are the only organization to consistently and publicly support  property rights and beneficial development projects in Queen Anne's County! If the growth of our County interests you at any level, you should be a part of this prominent group!
 
Become a member! 
Join the board! 



BQA is looking to grow membership and our Executive elite board and we are in search of Woman Business owners in the County...are you the woman for the job?
 
We are also looking for members to sign up to attend Commissioner's Meetings and/or Planning Commission Meetings!

If you are interested, please contact Administrator, Sandra Early at


BUSINESS Queen Anne's c/o Sandra's Office Support | 405 Victoria Way | Stevensville | MD | 21666