Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems - Address: PO Box 124, Westminster MD 21158 410-259-6403 Runner, writer, artist, fire & police chaplain Mindless ramblings of a runner, journalist & artist: Travel, art, artists, authors, books, newspapers, media, writers and writing, journalists and journalism, reporters and reporting, technology, music, culture, opera... National & International politics For community: For art, technology, writing, & travel:

Sunday, October 16, 2005

20051015 Mar-Va Theatre Pocomoke City Maryland – October 15 2005

20051015 Mar-Va Theatre Pocomoke City Maryland – October 15 2005

October 15, 2005 by Kevin Dayhoff

Former Pocomoke City mayor Curt Lippoldt, a member of the Mar-Va Theater Board and former Westminster mayor Kevin Dayhoff talk over the progress of renovations of the old theater in downtown Pocomoke City. © Caroline Babylon photo – October 15, 2008.

Former Pocomoke City mayor Curt Lippoldt, a member of the Mar-Va Theater Board and Caroline Babylon look over the old Pocomoke City Mar-Va Theater. © Kevin Dayhoff photo - October 15, 2005.

The Mar-Va Theater which opened in 1927, with 720 seats, for vaudeville and silent movies; is being renovated. Once it re-opens it is sure to be a cultural and entertainment showcase for the Delmarva Peninsula. For more details go to

Caroline and I visited the Pocomoke City to review the renovation of the old theater on October 15, 2005, in order to prepare for making a presentation on the economic benefits of art and culture venues and programming, February 25, 2006 at the annual famous chicken and dumplings membership dinner, at the Pocomoke Fire Hall.

Everyone has a role to play in “Setting Delmarva's Stage for a Brighter Tomorrow.” Bringing to life the 1927 art-deco Mar-Va movie theater as an arts and cultural center in Pocomoke City can play a key and critical role in economic development, revitalization, and attracting community employment and tax base to the lower shore.

Kevin Dayhoff October 15, 2005

20051015 Mar-Va Theatre Pocomoke City Maryland – October 15 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Urban sprawl is no good for all, but don't ignore the legal realities

Urban sprawl is no good for all, but don't ignore the legal realities

10/05/05 By Kevin E. Dayhoff

Recent articles and letters in local publications regarding water allocation, land use and municipal annexation are well intentioned - but clearly indicate a basic lack of understanding of the laws and past court decisions that govern these activities.

That's understandable, because since the early 1950s these areas of law in Maryland have be-come complex by bizarre, byzantine proportions.

In reality, many public officials don't understand the labyrinth of land use law, or they would be more careful about posturing in front of a public that is understandably clamoring for relief. Many pronouncements and promises are great for applause and votes, but woefully short on being legally possible.

In the end, often there is little a public official can do, retroactively, about water or property rights assigned to a property by a legal process put in place decades ago - unless they opt to spend valuable taxpayer dollars (losing) in court.

The next time anyone considers criticizing the City of Westminster about water allocation, bear in mind that you are preaching to the choir. Westminster painfully understands that it must find more water.

Also, understand that you are criticizing the wrong branch of government. For the most part, allocating Westminster's water was taken out of the hands of local officials, by the courts, almost 40 years ago.

In 1964, the city purchased the water system from a private company, which had historically provided water outside the city limits.

In 1966, the Maryland Court of Appeal (Bair v. Mayor and Council of Westminster, 221 P.2d 642 1966) declared the water system a "public utility" as opposed to a "municipal water supply" and made a ruling that forces the city to provide water to any property near any existing water line or "reasonably within its range of performance" - whether or not that property is annexed or in the city limits.

The 1966 Westminster water case is unique and is still used as national precedent. (In fact, it was used as recently as 1995 in a case before the Florida Supreme Court.) Attempting to overturn it may very well not be a wise use of taxpayer dollars.

As far as future land use, growth and development in Carroll County, planning needs to take place long before the housing development is in the public hearing stage or the subject of a costly moratorium.

A discussion needs to take place long before the business of a farm has been rendered unprofitable.

The debate needs to occur before a property owner has been awarded certain legal development rights - which can take the form of a legally enforceable contract, or in any event usually involves at least an implied contract between government and a property owner.

Sadly, the reactionary conversation - often involving unpleasant public hearings, uninformed conspiracy theories, political spinelessness and personal attacks - distorts and polarizes the collective discourse to such an extent that it renders many citizens skeptical about any discussion over growth and development.

The reality is this: You cannot take away a person's property rights or void a legal contract by plebiscite, politics or screaming mob.

That's just one of the reasons it is important that folks attend the community Grassroots Gatherings ( that are scheduled for residents to get involved in the Carroll County Comprehensive Plan. Go, and ask questions. Many of Carroll County's public servants are the brightest land-use experts in the state.

We may not be able to do much about past land use contracts and court decisions, but the future is up to us. For the sake of that future, a majority of Carroll County residents long for a sober, clearly-worded, intelligent and nonpolitical explanation of farm profitability and the legal issues involving development and growth.

If we don't have that discussion now, our environmental future and the future of our green Carroll County way of life will be history.

Kevin Dayhoff may reached at kevindayhoff AT or visit him at

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