Council Highlights for February 13, 2024


Category: County Council

The Talbot County Council held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 6 p.m.; all Council members were present.

Proclamation: American Heart Month

EMS Division Chief, Talbot County Department of Emergency Services, Tina Kintop, and Talbot County Health Officer, Maria Maguire, M.D., were joined by Emergency Services personnel and representatives from the Talbot Paramedic Foundation to accept a proclamation recognizing February 2024 as American Heart Month.

2.15.2024 Council Highlights

Left to right: County Manager Clay Stamp; Casey Everngam; Jeremy Cummings; EMS Division Chief Tina Kintop; Ruth Ann Jones, Talbot Paramedic Foundation; Eddie Roberts; Council Member Dave Stepp; Kelly Jones; Lt. Jackie Reiss; Rachael Cox, CPR/ AED Coordinator; Bill Wilson, Talbot Paramedic Foundation; Dr. Maria Maguire, Talbot County Health Officer

“Heart disease, which includes heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, is the leading cause of death of an estimated 695,000 Americans each year, affecting both men and women of all economic and ethnic backgrounds,” read the proclamation. “Therefore, we, the County Council of Talbot County… urge all citizens to support the American Heart Association’s initiatives toward healthier lifestyles and increased physical activity, and to receive lifesaving CPR training as an investment in our community and its residents to help eradicate the risk of this deadly disease, both for today and for the future.”

The County will continue to recognize Heart Month with Heart Healthy tips on their social media, through a campaign titled “Talbot Hearts”. Heart Month will wrap up with the Department of Emergency Service’s annual CPR Marathon, which encourages residents to participate in 60-minute training sessions to learn hands-only CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

The free event will take place at the Talbot County Community Center located at 10028 Ocean Gateway in Easton on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, starting at 9:00 a.m. and is open to the public. Registration for the event is requested. For more information about the event, contact Paramedic Rachael Cox at or visit

Presentation on Bellevue Passage Museum Project

Dennis De Shields, M.D., Co-Founder of the Bellevue Passage Museum, and Philip Logan, Architect, PLLS, at DBA Preservation Green, provided architectural renderings of the proposed Bellevue Passage Museum Project.

The proposed Bellevue Passage Museum aims to provide an immersive experience in heritage tourism and place-based education. The “John U. Green Store” will be transformed into a museum and community space and will house and display photos and memorabilia that recall Bellevue’s past.

The museum project will be partially located on land owned by the County in the Village of Bellevue, generally known as Bellevue Park, located at 5536 Bellevue Road, Royal Oak, Maryland.

The Council unanimously approved entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bellevue Passage Museum and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Inc. for a long-term lease which laid out specifics of the project.

More information about the museum can be found at


Site Plan of Bellevue Passage Museum in Bellevue, Maryland.

Purchase of Poplar Hill Farm Property

The Council unanimously approved the purchase of approximately 120 acres of property (located adjacent to Maryland Route 322 and Maryland Route 333) in Easton known as Poplar Hill Farm.

The County will purchase the property for $6M, while noting the property was recently appraised at a market value of $6.99M. Funding for this acquisition will come from capital enabling legislation, Bill No. 1534, A BILL TO AMEND BILL NOS. 1424 AND 1486 FOR THE PURPOSE OF AMENDING THE APPROPRIATION TO PURCHASE IMPROVED OR UNIMPROVED REAL PROPERTY FOR FUTURE COUNTY PURPOSES.

Following the vote, Council President Chuck Callahan stated, “This was a phenomenal opportunity to secure the strategically located property…it’s exciting to be able to have this property for future use and to maintain open space and to protect the critical area.”

“There is going to be a future need for County facilities, and there is no closer parcel of such acreage to the downtown area,” said Council Vice President Pete Lesher. “I want to express my gratitude to the sellers for approaching the County with this opportunity.”

County Manager Clay Stamp described the Council’s action to acquire the property as “visionary”, noting the councilmembers’ decision.poplarhillproperty_highlights

Aerial view of Poplar Hill Farm property.

Other Business

  • Council reviewed a proposed text amendment for the zoning applicable to “Village Hamlet” (VH) Zoning Districts. The application for a text amendment comes at the request of the owner of the property, 25876 Royal Oak, LLC (The Oaks)in Royal Oak, Maryland, which desires to expand the historic hotel property. Since 2018, hotels/inns are not permitted, even by special exception, within a VH Zoning District.  Following discussion with the Applicant’s attorney and the County Planning Officer, Council unanimously approved forwarding the proposed text amendment to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation.
  • Public hearings were held on Res. No. 338 and amendment, Res. No. 347 and amendments, and Res. No. 348 and amendment, all of which relate to the Lakeside Development in Trappe. The Council chose to keep the record open on all the resolutions until the Council meeting of March 12, 2024, in order to provide the Planning Commission and the Public Works Advisory Board an opportunity to review the resolutions and amendments and provide a recommendation to the Council.
  • A public hearing and subsequent vote was held on Res. No. 352. The resolution was requested by the Town of Trappe and, if approved, would allow the Town to apply its industrial zoning (“M”) classification to an approximately 5.125 acre portion of Tax Map 54, Parcel 302which is currently zoned Town Residential (“TR”) under the County’s zoning; the remaining portion of the parcel, approximately 32.735 acres, is already located within Trappe’s corporate limits and is zoned “M”. The zoning change from the County’s “TR” classification to the Town’s “M” classification will result in substantially different uses or higher density; therefore, the County Council must grant a waiver in order for the Town to apply its “M” classification; otherwise, the Town must wait five years to do so. Callahan, Lesher, Stepp, and Haythe voted in favor of the resolution which waives the five-year hold.
  • The County Manager presented several board nominations for the Council’s consideration:
    • Agricultural Resolution Board – Council unanimously approved the appointment of Bret Gannon to the Agricultural Resolution Board as a representative of the agricultural community.
    • Board of Appeals – Council unanimously approved the appointment of Patrick Forrest to the Board of Appeals as a full member.  Mr. Forrest presently serves as an alternate on the Board.
    • Talbot County Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council – Council unanimously approved the appointment of James “Jim” Reed as a citizen representative.
  • Planning and Zoning requested a Letter of Support for Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s sponsorship of the FY2025 Rural Legacy Program, specifically prioritizing support of the Eastern Shore Heartland Rural Legacy Area and the Tuckahoe Rural Legacy Area. The request was unanimously approved.
  • Hog Neck Golf Course requested approval of the 2024 Golf Course Rates and Fees Schedule. The proposed small increases in rates and fees are necessary to keep pace with increases in costs and were reviewed and approved by the Golf Board; fees for Talbot County residents will not increase. The schedule of new rates was unanimously approved.
  • Department of Parks and Recreation requested approval to renew the contract with Riverside Lawn Service for Bid No. 23-02, GRASS CUTTING SERVICES – PARKS, BALL FIELDS AND LANDINGS, in the amount of $44,994.00 for the 2024 season. Council unanimously approved the request.
  • Department of Parks and Recreation requested approval to renew the contract with Coastline Pool Services for operation and maintenance of the Bay Hundred Community Pool and the George Murphy Community Pool in the sum of $275,000 for the 2024 season.  Council unanimously approved the request.
  • Council unanimously approved sending a letter of support to the state legislature seeking complete restoration of the Cade funding formula for community colleges.  As proposed for FY25, the Governor’s Budget and Management Office has issued historic funding cuts to community colleges with the Cade funding formula impacted.  While all community colleges are affected by the proposed funding cut, for Chesapeake College, this would represent a 10% cut from last year’s allocation.
  • County Manager Stamp announced that roadwork on Goldsborough Neck Road will begin on or about Monday, February 19, 2024 (weather permitting) and last for approximately 30 days.  The detour route has been posted. More information can be found here:
  • Nancy Andrew, Executive Director, Talbot Family Network, announced a Lunch and Learn opportunity on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Talbot County Free Library – Easton branch to learn more about the Maryland Service Year and Maryland Corps.  The event is open to public.

County government offices will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2024 in honor of President’s Day.

The Council’s next legislative meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room located in the South Wing, Talbot County Courthouse, 11 North Washington Street, Easton.  The meeting open to the public.

council highlights council meetings des emergency services heart month planning and zoning


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