Comprehensive Plan Update/Priority Preservation Plan/Tier Map
This past year, the Planning & Zoning Commission forwarded to the Council a complete update of the County Comprehensive Plan. For the first time, this included a Priority Preservation Area Element.
The County was awarded $602,010 from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Chesapeake Bay Trust for water quality improvements in Wicomico County. The financial award from the Department of Natural Resources, as well as County funding will be used to construct eight (8) stormwater retrofit projects on five (5) highly-visible demonstration sites including: Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport; Arthur W. Perdue Stadium; Pemberton Historical Park; Schumaker Park; and Upper Ferry.
As progress continues towards completion of the first phase projects, the County embarked on a second round of projects consisting of seven (7) stormwater retrofits on four (4) publicly-owned sites including: East Little League Complex at Winterplace Park; Wicomico County Roads Division, Wicomico County Detention Center / Sheriff’s Office; and Wor-Wic Community College.
These 15 projects demonstrate the County’s ongoing commitment to improving local water quality by reducing the amount of sediments and nutrients from entering our creeks and rivers.
Housing Rehabilitation/Homebuyer Assistance
The County applied for and was awarded $550,000 from the State of Maryland Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to provide the following programs to county residents:
- Housing Rehabilitation Program – $350,000; funds will be used to continue the County’s housing rehabilitation program for eligible homeowners.
- Down payment Assistance for the Homebuyer Program – $200,000; funds will be used to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers.
These efforts demonstrate the County’s ongoing commitment to helping local residents to retain and acquire quality housing.
Impact fee – Employment Incentive Program
The FY15 County Budget established the Employment Incentive Grant Program for Economic Growth. The amount of each award is $5321. This offsets payment of the Education Impact Fee.
The first 5 months of the fiscal year saw an increase of roughly 70% in the construction of single-family homes, compared to the same period last year.
These grants clearly have had a direct impact on spurring local construction activity. This benefit has been felt Countywide, with most of the construction taking place in the unincorporated parts of the County, as well as in 5 of the cities and towns.
Building & Energy Codes
The County continues to move forward with State required updates of our Building Codes.
Economic Development Action Team
The County joined with the City of Salisbury and the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce to review the existing County/City permit processes, in order to determine the best ways to streamline review and permitting.