CHESTERTOWN — With Tom Mason, president of the Kent County Commissioners opposed, the county will begin the process of selling a parcel of waterfront property located next to Gray’s Inn Creek Marina to the marina’s owner Bill Ashmore.
As it stands, Ashmore will likely pay $8,000 for the property as well as $1,200 for a Living Shoreline engineering fee.
For the sale to be finalized, County Administrator Shelley Heller said it will need to be advertised in the newspaper of record for three weeks.
Commissioner Ron Fithian said his motion is meant to accept an offer from Ashmore. The sale will come before the commissioners again after it is advertised.
Ashmore and his lawyer Kyle Kirby attended the Tuesday, Jan. 5 commissioners meeting to discuss the sale. According to Kirby, the county-owned parcel is about 2,500 square feet and located along the waterfront near Skinners Neck Road. He said it is inaccessible from the public landing.
“It looks like it’s a part of Mr. Ashmore’s property,” Kirby said. “He owns all the property around it, all the property across the street.”
Ashmore’s “ultimate goal,” Kirby said, is to construct a bed and breakfast on the adjacent lot next to his marina — though current zoning might not allow for that.
Ashmore said he has been working with county Planning, Housing and Zoning Director Bill Mackey to determine if it is feasible to build as the county goes through a comprehensive rezoning.
Ashmore’s initial offer to the county was $1,000 for the parcel. Kirby said the land was appraised at $500 and is of no value to anyone but Ashmore who owns the surrounding properties.
Given the history of sales of other properties in a similar situation, Mason said the county should be able to sell the land for a higher price.
“If you look at this reality, we should be asking $48,000,” Mason said. “And I’m not saying $48,000 — I wouldn’t buy it for that if I was you.”