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and the environment are sharing trees.
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Eastern Red Bud
Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 2:00 am
It appears as though Frederick, Frederick County and the Lake Linganore Association may be sharing the cost of a much-needed project — dredging tons of silt that have accumulated in the lake since it was created in 1972.
LLA has been talking about this project for years, but the cost, estimated at between $4 million and $8 million, has been prohibitive for the development near New Market to bear alone.
It’s encouraging that these three potential partners in this enterprise met recently to discuss their interest in financing the project.
County special projects manager Mike Marschner presented the following three-way split on the project’s cost: Frederick County, 25 percent; the city of Frederick, 50 percent; and LLA, 25 percent.
Frederick Mayor Randy McClement and LLA representative Robert Charles seemed amenable to Marschner’s cost-sharing proposal. The city’s share is greatest because the lake, which Frederick uses for water storage, is a component of its water management system.
And while the county no longer relies on Lake Linganore for any of its water needs, that could change in the future. To ensure access to the lake’s water if it is needed, the county is willing to contribute to the cost of the dredging operation. Read the entire editorial.
There will be a meeting hosted by Oakdale LLC to discuss the Eaglehead DRRA. Please attend and spread the word to your neighbors and friends
When: Saturday May 11th 10AM
Where: Oakdale Middle School (entrance is usually around back)
The Frederick County Commissioners have approved or are discussing approval of over 7000 new dwellings, in many cases without appropriate plans for schools, roads, emergency services and other key infrastructure. We believe that our public officials should follow existing laws; in a growing number of cases that is not happening.
FoFC is currently challenging:
* Crum and Thatcher (Frederick City north)
* New Market Municipal Growth Element in Maryland Court of Special Appeals(read letter from FoFC)
* Frederick City Comprehensive Plan in Frederick County Circuit Court
* Landsdale (Monrovia) at the Board of Appeals
* Landsdale Storm Water Management Administrative Waiver at the Board of Appeals, March 28, 2013 7pm
* Jefferson Technology Park at the Board of Appeals
* Frederick County’s 2012 Comprehensive Rezoning in the Frederick County Circuit Court
If school overcrowding is your concern, it is with good reason. Read this published letter from one Monrovia citizen who gives us the facts.
1/24/13 Frederick County has…”essentially violated the state’s new law aimed at limiting growth on septic systems…
State says three counties flouting septic growth law
Planning secretary says O’Malley administration “weighing options”
7:00 AM EST, January 24, 2013
Three Maryland counties have essentially violated the state’s new law aimed at limiting growth on septic systems, a top O’Malley administration aide said Wednesday, adding that state officials are “weighing our options,” including possible legal action or withholding of funds.
Cecil, Frederick and Allegany counties did not follow the 2012 law in drawing up maps that were supposed to restrict where large housing subdivisions on septic may be built, Planning Secretary Richard E. Hall told lawmakers in Annapolis.
Hall, briefing members of the House and Senate environmental committees, said that Cecil and Frederick in particular appear to have tried to essentially “negate” the law by leaving as much forest and farm land open to septic-based housing development as possible – including some properties already preserved.
“So they basically have not only ignored the law, they’ve thumbed their nose at the state,” observed Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Prince George’s County Democrat.
Hall said Allegany officials have deviated from the law in a more limited fashion in one area of the county.
Dru Schmidt-Perkins, executive director of the land preservation group 1000 Friends of Maryland, said she’s also worried about Charles County, where she said county officials have been considering a septic growth map suggested by developers. The county has yet to adopt anything for submittal to the state, though.
The planning secretary said that only 11 of Maryland’s 23 counties have adopted maps provided for in the law that spell out where septic-based development can and can’t occur. State planners are “fine” with most of those, Hall said, concluding they’re basically in line with the law’s aim of curbing rural sprawl and limiting nutrient pollution from septics.
But the rest of the state’s counties have not submitted any growth maps for state review, Hall said, and many of those appear to be waiting to see what happens to those counties that essentially ignored the law – or to see if lawmakers amend or repeal the controversial law.
Under the “Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act” passed last year, Maryland’s 23 counties and its municipalities are supposed to map where they plan to grow, carving their territory up into four “tiers” that increasingly limit residential development on septic systems. The maps were due by the end of the year, if the counties want to continue permitting any large-scale housing projects using septics.
Hall noted that the bill the administration introduced would have had his department approve or reject the counties’ maps, but lawmakers worried about local prerogatives to control land use stripped out the state’s ability to veto plans or order changes. Instead, the law provides that the department may force a county to have a public hearing on its septic growth plan if state planners believe it doesn’t comply with the law.
The state planning department has written Cecil and Frederick saying its maps do not conform to the law’s requirements. Cecil already has called a public hearing Feb. 19 on the state’s criticism.
“We hope they will change their maps, but there’s nothing in the legislation that requires them to,” he said. “To be blunt, they can ignore us.”
While his department is limited by the law to commenting on local septic plans, Hall said it’s possible that counties may still face lawsuits from residents who believe they or their property may be hurt by having septic-supported development nearby.
Administration officials also are considering what options the state may have to respond to a local government they believe is flouting the law, Hall said. Nothing’s been decided, he said, but noted that there’d been discussion of state agencies joining with the attorney general in a lawsuit, or withhholding some funds from counties deemed out of compliance.
Hall said he’s worried that if Cecil and Frederick don’t respond to the state’s criticism of their septic growth plans, it may encourage other counties to ignore the law unless there are some consequences.
Some lawmakers indicated they feared the state had already overstepped its authority in trying to influence local land use decisions. House Republicans have introduced a bill to repeal the law.
Del. Cathy Vitale, an Anne Arundel County Republican, questioned why Hall’s department had blocked a planned development in her county that had been approved by local officials.
Hall said his staff objected because the project in question called for extending public sewer service into an area of the county not designated for such development in Arundel’s long-range growth plan. If the county amended its growth plan to include the development, he said state planners would go along.
Del. Charles J. Otto, a Republican representing Somerset and Worcester counties, expressed his disdain for the law and recited constituents’ complaints that it is unconstitutional because it limits their ability to develop their land. He also questioned how the restrictions on septic growth would help the Chesapeake Bay.
Hall replied that the legislation was reviewed for constitutionality before it was introduced. He recited statistics on the law’s environmental effects, including keeping 1.1 milllion pounds of nitrogen out of the bay and its tributaries, and preserving 100,000 acres of forest and farmland that planners believe would otherwise be developed.
But he noted that there’s still plenty of land available for development under the development, up to twice as much as planners project would be needed over the next 25 years to accommodate an additional 450,000 households.
Earlier in his briefing, Hall sought to dispel more of what he called “misinformation” about the law, saying counties in Maryland with strict limits on building homes in agricultural areas have higher farmland values than do neighboring counties with relatively looser development rules.
“When I go out and about,” Hall said, “I’ve had some people tell me — some local elected officials, believe it or not, and professionals in the field — tell me, ‘This will actualy help us achieve our goals .. this helps lock down, solidify many existing policies that we’ve had at the local level.’”
For the most part, he concluded, “We think that this (law) is very consistent with what local governments already have in place.”
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun
Gazette editorial published on Thursday, January 24, 2013
Pay now, or pay later for Frederick County development
The scene is a familiar one in Maryland: a “bedroom” county with lots of available open space attracts developers who see dollar signs, while elected officials see an easy way to expand the tax base and pay for needed services.
On the other side, advocacy groups and residents who are worried about crowded roads and schools, and the possible higher taxes needed to improve both, draw a line in the sand to fight what they view as unfettered growth.
The developers and elected officials, with zoning law on their side, usually win in the end, with the developers getting rich, and the elected officials moving on to higher office. But years later, their legacy is sometimes urban sprawl that is virtually impossible to undo.
By then, the debate is about “smart growth” vs. “dumb growth,” or the need to impose a building moratorium because development has outstripped a jurisdiction’s ability to accommodate it with the needed infrastructure.
Thoughtful elected officials and residents who witnessed such a gradual erosion of the quality of life in their communities then ask, “How did we get here? What were they thinking a decade ago when they allowed this to happen?”
That crucial time when the future is decided is being played out in Frederick County here and now. Read more…
|Monrovia Town Center protesters gather downtown
Plan would put 1,510 houses, commercial development on hundreds of acres east of Ed McClain Road
Originally published January 17, 2013By Patti S. Borda
Half a dozen protesters took their concerns about Monrovia’s future to Frederick’s streets Wednesday.They made their stand at the corner of Church and Market streets just before the Frederick County Planning Commission was scheduled to discuss the Monrovia Town Center proposal.
The commission has not yet scheduled a public hearing on any part of the plan, but will do so and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners probably around March, according to Jim Gugel, county planner.
Monrovia Town Center’s plan would put 1,510 houses and 280,000 square feet of commercial development on 460 acres east of Ed McClain Road and north of Fingerboard Road.
Before that can start, Teddy Kroll said she and her Monrovia neighbors are rallying as many people as they can to write letters and speak at public hearings. They hope to convince planners and county commissioners that their neighborhood is not suitable for Urbana-style density and development.
“How would they like it if someone did this to them, put Urbana on their front lawn?” Kroll said in an interview Wednesday.
The roads cannot handle the traffic now, and the additional traffic would be disastrous, Kroll said. Her first concern is Md. 75, which the state has no money or plan to improve.
Kroll and her neighbors take no comfort from Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young’s assurance that the developers will help pay for road improvements and their projects will be built over several decades.
“It’s irresponsible to plan on money that isn’t there,” Kroll said.
Amy Reyes is spearheading the grass-roots effort to involve more residents in the area planning. She runs a Facebook page for Residents Against Landsdale Expansion. The group will meet Sunday at a location and time to be announced soon, Reyes said.
Reyes and a half dozen people at Wednesday’s meeting scoffed aloud at what counts as community notification about projects such as the 1,100-home Landsdale development in the same area. Planning Commissioner John McClurkin suggested that people who had sat through the meeting might be allowed to comment, even though it was not a public hearing.
The county is not sufficiently accounting for the combined effect of Landsdale and Monrovia Town Center on schools and roads, three people told the commission.
In addition to optional meetings developers may choose to have with neighbors, Gugel said county staff will accept any invitation to attend community meetings for the purpose of answering questions about projects and the planning process. He encouraged the public to find the latest information on the county planning website, from a project’s initial stages to its completion.
If Monrovia Town Center is built, Kroll said, life will change for a small community where it is safe to let children outside to play.
“It becomes Urbana,” she said. “You have to bring all the kids back inside.”
Young’s “forceful personality” may be swaying fellow commissioners to approve the plan, but they and the county will have to live with this administration’s decisions long after Young leaves office, Kroll said.
“Now is the only time the neighborhood can stop it,” she said.
Citizens are concerned. 1100 new homes, without warning, without discussion. One meeting called by the Monrovia Citizens Association (a group no one has heard about) was held 8 miles from Monrovia at Holly Hills Country Club.
Today residents discovered that 1500 more homes are being quickly sent through without due process for the Monrovia Town Center.