Route 611 Land Reclassification Decision Delayed

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners delayed deliberations regarding a land reclassification on Route 611.

The commissioners on Tuesday were expected to make a decision regarding a request to reclassify 8.34 acres of land designated Resource Conservation Area (RCA) as Limited Development Area (LDA). The deliberations were tabled, however, at the request of the applicant, attorney Hugh Cropper.

“I asked that it be postponed because of a scheduling conflict,” Cropper said.

Following a favorable recommendation by the Worcester County Planning Commission, the commissioners were presented last month with a request to reclassify the Route 611 property currently home to the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) office from RCA to LDA. Cropper said an error occurred in the property’s original mapping and should be corrected. Though the land was labeled RCA because it was home to a golf course at one time, technically principal buildings—such as the former golf clubhouse being used by MCBP—are not permitted in the RCA. Cropper said he was seeking a refinement now from RCA to LDA.

South Point residents expressed concern about the proposed change, citing a desire to ensure environmentally sensitive areas were protected. They questioned the need for the change, as the facility is in use by MCBP.

Cropper said it was simply to correct the designation so that if MCBP ever leaves the owner can lease the space to someone else. With the current RCA designation, the property can only be used by a nonprofit conservation organization—something that was only made possible by a text amendment approved a few years ago.

“The text amendment was written for Coastal Bays,” Cropper said last month. “If Coastal Bays left there’s nothing you can do with it.”

Because of the array of information presented by Cropper as well as by South Point residents, the commissioners agreed to delay their deliberations regarding the request. With that discussion delayed again this week, it is expected to be held at the commissioners’ next meeting Feb. 15.

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.