3/12/13 How Fort Detrick might affect public health

University of Maryland PhD candidate Ed Kruse will be conducting community health surveys related to  Middletown, Fort Detrick, and Walkersville. Middletown has been asked to introduce Ed Kruse to the community at a date yet to be decided.

Kruse’s work will look into how Fort Detrick may have affected the health of residents in the surrounding area. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Public Health have already revealed some startling news of leaking from Fort Detrick’s waste bins being related to cancer in the surrounding communities.

Check out these interesting articles concerning their research:

“It Would Break Your Heart”; science vs. experience in a cancer cluster investigation

“After Words”; Our Most Intimate Adversary

10-10-11 Seven citizen groups address 194 land use change proposals with letter to the Frederick County Planning Commissioners

Download letter as pdf file here.




Proposals for land use change in Frederick County

Friends of Frederick County has analyzed the 194 proposals available for public reading at:  Frederick County Government website, Community Development page. Here is a summary of our findings:


Municipality Number of proposals Agriculture/open space properties requesting reclassification and rezoning  (acres) Agriculture/ open space properties requesting reclassification and rezoning for residential development (acres) approximate # of homes to be constructed approx # of new school children approx # of additional car trips/day on local roads
ADAMSTOWN 13 3203.0 99.9 293.0 159.1 2804.0
BRUNSWICK 7 339.4 321.4 737.0 400.2 7053.1
FREDERICK 33 2358.0 2169.6 3172.7 1722.8 30362.7
MIDDLETOWN 18 518.7 505.9 1215.6 660.1 11633.3
NEW MARKET 43 3691.0 2331.4 7505.1 4075.3 71823.8
THURMONT 19 486.0 434.3 452.0 245.4 4325.6
URBANA 46 2769.0 2380.7 5189.9 2818.1 49667.3
WALKERSVILLE 15 2014.0 1857.3 4847.0 2631.9 46385.8
194 15379.0 10100.5 23412.3 12712.9 224055.7


05-24 7PM Gasland film showing in Middletown

Tuesday, May 24th @ 7pm   showing of GASLAND

A film directed by Josh Fox, winner of Special Jury Prize-Best US Documentary Feature-Sundance 2010, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. “The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The HALLIBURTON-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or “hydro-fracking” has unlocked a “Saudi Arabia of natural gas just beneath us. But, is hydro-fracking safe?”

Post film discussion led by sponsors  Citizens for the Preservation of Middletown Valley and the Sierra Club.

where:  CHRIST REFORMED CHURCH,12 S. Church Street, Middletown MD

03-01-2011 Country wide APFO for schools on annexed land repealed FNP headline: Ordinance repeal will crowd Frederick County schools

Speakers: Ordinance repeal will crowd Frederick County schools

Originally published March 02, 2011

By Patti S. Borda

The Frederick County Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to repeal the ordinance that has applied the county adequate public facilities schools test to certain properties in municipalities since November 2009.The ordinance was not applied in practice before several municipalities challenged its legality in December 2009. Petitions for judicial review of the ordinance were filed by the municipalities of Frederick, Thurmont, Brunswick, Emmitsburg and Myersville, the burgess and commissioners of Middletown, Woodsboro, Summers Farm LLP and Crum Commercial Farm Development LLC.

The county’s stated purpose for adopting the ordinance was to ensure that schools would be built before development could overburden them in areas the City of Frederick annexed — the Summers and Crum farms among them. Municipal leaders balked at the suggestion that they do not plan for school needs when approving development, presented arguments that the county had overcrowded schools in unincorporated areas before 2009, and that the county may have no legal right to impose the ordinance.

On Tuesday, many municipal leaders and builders told commissioners that the previous Board of County Commissioners had soured the relationship between the county and municipalities, and the ordinance worsened the situation. Mayors, burgesses, builders and land-development lawyers assured commissioners that they would work cooperatively with the county to plan for school capacity and would withdraw the legal action if the county would rescind the ordinance.

That order of events is wrong, said Commissioner David Gray. He advocated ideas from speakers who urged commissioners not to repeal the ordinance until something was written to replace it, a memorandum of understanding or an agreement to set certain standards that limit development according to school capacity.

Opponents of the repeal said Gray is the only one who is thinking of the effect that overcrowded schools would have on children. Commissioners President Blaine Young and Commissioner Paul Smith said they have children in public school, and they are taking into account the effect the repeal will have.

Lawyer Rand Weinberg said the commissioners should repeal the ordinance because it did not foster cooperation but represented an attempt to negotiate with a hammer over the heads of municipalities.

“The least productive way to negotiate a good solution … is with a threat,” he said.

Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, whose municipality was at the heart of the original matter before he took office, said he would work closely with the county on a solution. He said he was not speaking for the city aldermen, but believed they would be willing to work with the county to set an adequate public facilities ordinance for the city that would meet county approval.

The ordinance repeal went into effect Tuesday.

Citizen Letter to FNP: Winning or losing the growth game

I’ve been following the “conversation” about growth and the comprehensive plan with great interest. There are some in our community who want to make Janice Wiles and Friends of Frederick County the issue. They are not. Growth is the issue. How we choose to grow, and where we choose to grow are the issues.

I’ve lived in this county most of my life. I’ve seen a lot of change around here since the ’70s, but some things don’t change. Many of those speaking out against the comprehensive plan appear to have a financial interest to protect. My guess is that there will also be a lot of money flowing into the upcoming County Commissioner election to support a pro development slate of candidates. The rest of us also have a financial interest. Our taxes go to support infrastructure and growth.

Growth needs to be more that just a business opportunity for a select few. Our community needs to grow, but how we grow will impact the quality of life in Frederick County for generations. The new comprehensive plan is a good road map. Developers and their lawyers seem not to like the new comprehensive plan. I recall a campaign slogan from Commissioner John L. Thompson Jr., “When developers win, you lose.” That slogan is a little over the top for my liking, but maybe it deserves consideration in the current “conversation.”



Originally published June 01, 2010


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Buy Local Buy Fresh at Farmers Markets in Frederick County

Municipal Growth Element Fact Sheet

County’s Role in the Development of “Municipal Growth Elements”

wedrawthelineMandatory Adoption

Every municipality in Maryland is required to adopt a “municipal growth element” as part of its comprehensive plan.  The initial deadline for meeting this requirement was October 1, 2009.  For good cause shown, the Maryland Department of Planning may grant up to two six month extensions of this deadline — to either April 1, 2010 or October 1, 2010.

The Maryland Legislature has provided for the suspension of zoning authority in any municipality that fails to adopt a municipal growth element within the prescribed time limits.  By establishing this extraordinary penalty, the Legislature has underscored its commitment to sound planning at the municipal level.

Download the Municipal Growth Element Fact Sheet here.


In developing its growth element, a municipality must, among other things, evaluate and disclose the potential impacts of its planned growth on county-wide services and facilities (e.g. roads; schools; water and sewer; parks; fire and emergency services etc.).  This information, in turn, will enable the county to project the likely costs of accommodating proposed municipal growth plans.

Mandatory Consultation

A municipal corporation is required to consult with the county in developing a municipal growth element.  In the course of this consultation, the county may provide the municipality with information related to the cost to the county of accommodating proposed municipal growth.

Mandatory Period of Review and Comment

A municipal corporation is also required to provide a copy of its proposed municipal growth element to the county and, for a period of 30 days thereafter, to accept comments from the county.  In its comments on the municipal growth element, the county may request additional information on the impacts of planned growth on county-wide services and facilities.  The county may also request that the municipality decrease the size of its planned growth area where (i) county-wide services and facilities are not sufficient to accommodate municipal growth plans; and (ii) the county will not in the foreseeable future have the resources to expand its infrastructure to accommodate this planned municipal growth.

Mandatory Meeting of County and Municipal Officials

Within 30 days following the close of the comment period, the county and the municipal corporation “shall meet and confer regarding the municipal growth element.”

This meeting provides the county and municipality an opportunity to resolve differences of opinion regarding (i) the likely costs to the county of municipal growth, as proposed; and (ii) the appropriate size of the planned growth area.  According to the Maryland Department of Planning, “HB 1141 mandates that jurisdictions meet and confer on this subject before the municipal growth element can be adopted.”

Mediation by the Maryland Department of Planning

Following this meeting, “on the request of either party”, the county and the municipality shall employ the mediation and conflict resolution office of the Maryland Department of Planning to resolve any remaining differences of opinion.  The Maryland Department of Planning has stated that:

Good planning dictates that the municipality and county agree on those land areas that will someday become part of the municipality.

Gas Turbine Compressor Station in Planning Stages for Rural Middletown

Join others (http://www.tellmetoday.com/) to fight the Dominion Transmission Inc. Storage Factory Compressor Station Project proposed for Marker Road in Middletown.   Dominion Transmission is in the initial planning stage for the construction of an 11-acre industrial site on Marker Rd. at the location shown below. There was a meeting held in Middletown on November 19, 2007. The next meeting will be in February 2008. According to a Dominion representative, they will build-out the infrastructure to support multiple gas turbine/compressor units. (FYI: Jet engines are gas turbines) Dominion’s Chambersburg, PA (see photo on flyer) facility has 4 units. The buildings in the photos are 4 to 5 stories tall. So, what’s the big deal? If you search the Internet, here are some issues that other’s who live near a “compressor facility” have experienced: sound pollution (day & night operation), light pollution, environmental pollution (including gas leaks), emergency sirens, decreased property values. What are your thoughts? An online forum has been setup about the Middletown Compressor Station. Hopefully this will make it easier to keep informed and communicate any concerns.

To access the forum: go to www.TellMeToday.com and click on the image of Middletown. On your first visit, you have to register to access & contribute to the forum. Follow the registration instructions. Once you are logged in, click on the Middletown Compressor Station. Click on a topic to view it. To contribute to a topic, just click on the “Post Reply” button. IMPORTANT: At the bottom of each topic page (in the blue bar), if you click on the “Subscribe topic” link, you will receive an email notification anytime someone contributes to that topic. If you have problems accessing the forum, you can email: richm@tellmetoday.com