Old News

Calvert County Comprehensive Plan Update and Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Process Orientation

Wednesday, August 3
Staff will provide an overview presentation of the update and rewrite process. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions as staff explains what a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance are and why the need for updates. Demographic, housing and transportation information and trends and a timeline of the update and rewrite project will be shared. This is the public’s opportunity to learn how important this project is to development in Calvert County in advance of the first round of participatory public meetings to be held in the fall.

Date:  August 3, 2016
Time:  7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Time Details:  There will be an open house 30 minutes before each meeting. Maps, graphs, and other information will be on display. Staff will be available to answer questions during the open houses and after each presentation.
Location:  Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department
Address:  3170 West Ward Road, Dunkirk, MD 20754
Contact:  410-535-1600 x2333
Email:  Jenny Plummer-Welker
Cost:  FREE
Link:  http://www.co.cal.md.us/index.aspx?nid=2031

Renaissance Festival Not Moving South
Thursday, April 02, 2015

From the Chesapeake Current

Following strong opposition from local residents, organizers of the Maryland Renaissance Festival have decided to remain in Crownsville rather than moving to a site off MD Rt. 4 at Bristol in southern Anne Arundel County.

The festival owners had a period of time to appeal the county’s Board of Appeals’ decision in December that denied their variance request and they did not do that. They had sought to move to a 238-acre tract of farmland just southwest Wayson’s Corner/Lothian off the Rt. 4 Bristol exit. The board ruled that the festival failed to meet other criteria of AA County law, and that it would change the character of the neighborhood.

Rick Price, vice president of Bristol Civic Association told the Chesapeake Current, “I’m glad to hear that they dropped it, glad Bristol and the surrounding people actually won one again and stopped the influx. The bigger problem is because Anne Arundel County created this situation – those big, juicy pieces of land that are left are in south county. So we’re always a target for development. It’s unfortunate… and the Renaisssance Festival just did not fit the character of the neighborhood and I’m glad that was brought out.”

The Renaissance Festival could seek to operate in a residential-agricultural zone similar to South County. But first zoning officials must approve a special exception to determine if plans meet county standards.

Local residents turned out in force at public meetings last year to oppose the festival move, citing concerns about traffic, possible congestion, access to and from Route 4, along with community disturbance and that it could be a detriment to public welfare in the rural area.

The Renaissance Festival operates 11 weekends in the fall, beginning the last weekend of August. Each year, the Maryland Fair attracts about 300,000 people during its 19 days of operation.

DACCA Member Cindy Peil sends us this report –

Calvert County Planning Commission 5-20-15 Meeting
(Meets every 3rd Monday, 7PM;  205 Main Street,  Courthouse Square Conference Room; Prince Frederick)

Background: At a meeting April 23 at the Prince Frederick Library on the Comprehensive Plans and Transfer Development Rights, an individual emphatically voiced   Dunkirk’s support for public sewer and water.  Public Sewer and water is part of the Comprehensive Plan, so I attended the meeting where the Draft Water and Sewer Plan
was on the agenda at the monthly County Planning Commission meeting.

Item 10a on the agenda was Draft Water and Sewer Plan Update (Wayne Raither, Chief/DPW)

During public comment,  I provided the comment,  PEOPLE LIVING IN DUNKIRK DO NOT WANT PUBLIC SEWER AND WATER. I talked 3-4 minutes repeating this multiple time.

These recommendations were given when I voiced difficulty with how to provide input on this.

1)  Follow the meeting schedule of the Calvert County Planning Commission.  Click on all the links in the on-line agenda to get the documents that will be considered
(the Sewer Plan Update is 199 pages).

2) Watch for and be active as the County Comprehensive Plan is being updated. THIS IS THE DOCUMENT THAT “DRIVES” ALL DECISIONS ON ZONING, SEWER, and POPULATION DENSITY etc.

3) Watch for and be active as the Dunkirk Town Center Plan is being modified.

4) Contact my BOCC member and share my opinions and ask my BOCC member
to provide his input in the necessary places and to the necessary committees etc.

5) I was not given exact times/places when the Comprehensive plan or Dunkirk Town
Center Plan were to be worked on, but one member emphatically voiced that it would
be done VERY SOON.  (He emphasized this several times with a loud –very soon)

Although members of the commission did not give me exact dates, they did emphasize that the County Comprehensive Plan and Dunkirk Town Center Plans  were being modified VERY SOON.  Both of these are very tied to the changes in TDR (Transfer Development Rights).  The changes currently being made in TDR’s will allow for greater population density in all town centers.  Dunkirk used to be called a ‘minor town center.  Now it is simply a town center.

The work on changes to these  plans are all done in committee and/or in closed work sessions.  After all the changes are made, the documents are presented to the BOCC at one of their Tuesday public meetings.  There is a brief public comment session after which then the BOCC votes, generally on the document exactly as written.   We need to provide input at the committee level.  Waiting for the BOCC meeting where the document comes up for their  approval is too late.  We can go to the BOCC at Tuesday public hearing and tell them we don’t want public sewer and water in Dunkirk, but they are not obligated to take any action, they usually don’t give feedback
to people who provide public comment other than ‘thank you’.

Planning Commission Board members: Maurice Lusby, Chair; Mike Phipps, Vice-Chair, RoxAnne Cumberland, Malcom Funn, Robert Reed, Bill Glasco, and Carolyn Hugh. Yolanda Hipski – Planning Commission Administrator; Becky Parkinson, Clerk to the Planning Commission
hipskiya@co.cal.md.us- Yolanda Hipski  410-535-1600 x2636
raither@co.cal.mc.us – Wayne Rather Public Works Division Chief)        J
haddonpj@co.cal.mc.us- Patricia, Principal Planner
Jenny Plummer-Welker, AICP,  Long Range Planner/CP & B
Julian Mark Willis –Comm. Plann. & Build.  410-535-2204
Tom Barnett, AICP, Long Range Planner

Note:  Per S Fleischman at The Recorder – Jenny Plummer-Welker, County Principal Planner, said that all town centers are allowed to have public water and sewer, but a Dunkirk Town Center Modification would be required to bring water and sewer to that particular town center.

Twin Shields Golf Course, Dunkirk, Maryland via The Capital

58 homes to be built on what will soon be an empty Twin Shields Golf Course.

Final tee time looming at Twin Shields – For years, local golfers, especially those from south county, have traveled just over the Calvert County line to get in a round at Twin Shields Golf Club.  But come Nov. 1, the local 18-hole course in Dunkirk is closing, and those duffers will have to look elsewhere for a day on the links.

The course, developed and nurtured by the late Ray and Roy Shields, is being sold to a Calvert County developer who plans 58 homes on the 223 acres.

The club has been run by Roy Shields’ daughters, Karen and Dianne, since he died in 1998. “The golf business isn’t what it used to be,” Karen Shields said. “A lot of people, especially younger people, can’t take six hours out of their day. Now it seems seniors are the only ones with the money and the time to play.”

Some golfers will hate to see it go. Anne Arundel residents Terence Smith, formerly a correspondent for The New York Times and PBS’ Newshour, and Pat McGrath, a longtime reporter for WTTG television, have been playing there for years.  “It’s very bad for people like myself. It has been my primary golf course for 3 1/2 decades,” said McGrath, who will have to drive farther and pay more to putt around. Smith will miss Twin Shields, too. Well, most of it. “I have lost a lot of golf balls in the pond on the fourth hole,” Smith said. “I suppose I’d be happy to see the fourth hole gone — if they would keep the other 17.”

Waning days
Hung between the pro shop and snack bar buildings at Twin Shields, a whiteboard marks the days.  On Wednesday, it read: “82 days left.” “We have each other’s backs,” said Karen, sitting with her sister on Daddy-O’s Patio overlooking the course. There is a lot of talk about their father. Twins Roy and Ray Shields started in the golf business in the 1930s when they moved from their native Kentucky to Washington, D.C., and started working at the old golf and swimming club at Hains Point. In a few years the two started working at the Annapolis Roads golf and beach club, and within a few years they leased it. Then, they bought it.

Both went off to World War II and returned to find Annapolis Roads overgrown and vandalized.  They cleaned it up and kept it up until selling it in 1968. Meanwhile, they bought a nine-hole course where the defunct White Flint Mall stood in Rockville in 1950, then purchased the Glenn Dale Golf Club in 1958, which Ray Shields’ children still run.

With proceeds from the sale of Annapolis Roads, the Shields brothers bought a tobacco farm along the Anne Arundel County line in Calvert County.  Using a simple plan and a bulldozer, the two — with help from another brother — built the course by sight line. “They were going to call it Twin Valley until someone suggested the twins call it Twin Shields,” Karen said. The daughters take pride in keeping the course shipshape. “Some people say we could have let it go,” Karen said. “But we will not let that happen. We will keep it like our father would have wanted it.”
Economic crunch
Though the course has been averaging about 35,000 rounds a year, the income doesn’t pay the bills, the sisters said. Then again, things were usually tight.  “Dad used to borrow money from the bank to get through the winter and pay it back in the spring,” Karen said. Twin Shields opened in 1968, and then came competing courses. “We kept our prices lower to keep them coming in,” she said. Added her sister: “But our costs went up. The price of seed, fertilizer, everything went sky-high.” So they had to make a decision. They approached Calvert County with the idea of the county buying and operating the course.  The county passed.

A Calvert County homebuilder approached them, and the plan to build homes on the property was born. Final approval for Quality Built Homes’ The Lakes at Twin Shields plan came in July 2012.  Twin Shields regular Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the Maryland state Senate president, will miss the course’s down-home, blue-collar feel. “My father played there. My uncle and my cousins played there too,” Miller said. “Our family sponsored the 12th hole.” The employees have agreed to stay on until the end. “And we are counting the days,” Karen Shields said. “Together,” her sister chimed in.

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