Waterfront Events Bill Approved By County

SNOW HILL –   County officials approved changes last month will permit special events to be held in more waterfront areas.

The Worcester County Commissioners last week approved a change to the county’s natural resources article and a text amendment that will allow special events in the Resource Protection District. The changes, according to the attorney who submitted the amendments, will allow special events such as weddings and parties to be held on more waterfront properties throughout the county. Similar text amendments were approved in the past to allow special events in other zoning districts.

“The language of this text amendment mirrors exactly text amendments for what’s allowed in the A-1, A-2 and E-1 zoning districts,” attorney Mark Cropper said. “This would again allow the same types of uses, which are functions such wedding receptions, family reunions, birthday parties and the like.”

Cropper told the commissioners he thought the proposed amendment was appropriate because it would allow for special events on large waterfront properties throughout the county. He said the Rackliffe House was in a resource protection area and had hosted many special events in the past.

“The Rackliffe House is probably the most popular location for a lot of the charitable and celebratory events such as those identified in this text amendment that’s resource protection,” he said. “To my knowledge I’ve never heard anybody complain or be concerned about the impact on that property.”

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In discussion of the related change to the natural resource article, staff said that amendment would allow special events on lands designated as resource conservation areas. Properties would have to be at least 25 acres in size.

“This amendment merely allows a temporary use within this designation and affords visitors to these events the enjoyment and appreciation of the environment in an undeveloped setting,” said Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs.

The commissioners approved both the text amendment and the amendment to the natural resources code unanimously.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.