COMING SOON: 1735 new homes in Linganore, more cars more new students; are we prepared?

Tuesday June 18th, 2013 Public Hearing on Eaglehead Planned Urban Development (PUD) and 25 year DRRA with Board of County Commissioners, Winchester Hall, 12 E Church St. Frederick

Wednesday May 22nd, 2013  Public Hearing on Eaglehead PUD and 25 year DRRA with Planning Commission, Winchester Hall, 12 E Church St. Frederick

Find out more…

OLD NEWS

March 4, 2013  ”Town Hall Meeting” 5-8 PM Windsor Knolls Middle  School informational session on development in south county.   

There is more to life than lower taxes.  If people want the lowest tax rates in the country they should move to Mississippi and enjoy their school system, poverty rate, and level of public service.    - Anonymous Frederick County Resident

September 2012

Frederick City to hold final Public Hearing on Keller Farm annexation

Thursday, September 6, 2012 7:00pm City Hall  Agenda for Public Meeting, including the staff report

Frederick County to hold final meetings

September 13, 2012  Winchester Hall on Comprehensive Plan rezoning map :   approving 160 rezoning applications that could lead to development of some 9,000 acres and 12,600 homes, over and above those homes already planned for in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan.  See FNP report of meeting

September 18, 2012 Winchester Hall:  BOCC Public Hearing on Landsdale PUD Phase I plan and Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreement  The Planning Commission, after hearing questions from citizens on illegalities of the PUD and DRRA, inconsistencies with the comprehensive plan, voted in favor of the Landsdale PUD and DRRA - and sent it onward to the BOCC for their vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in February 2012 the Young Bocc gave thumbs up to 163 rezoning proposals (out of 204). They recently added 9 new proposals to the 193 that were requested in Summer 2011.

Results significant to land use, zoning, environment, good governance, transparency

BOCC Work Sessions on 193 rezonings scheduled for February 2012

How much of the over 15,000 acres will be zoned from agriculture for development?

The Young Board will decide in their upcomingPublic Work Sessions

The sessions are open to the public though any public comment will only be taken at the very end of each day’s session not after the discussion of an individual request. Any votes taken on individual requests are considered preliminary decisions at this time. All work sessions will be held in the 3rd Floor Meeting Room, Winchester Hall.

1. Tuesday Feb. 14 8:30 am to noon: Overview of 2010 County Plan and Adamstown, Brunswick and Middletown region requests // 1:00 to 4:00 pm: Frederick, Thurmont and Walkersville region requests

2. Tuesday Feb. 21 9:00 am to noon: Town of New Market Draft Plan overview, and New Market region requests

3. Thursday Feb. 23 1:30-5 pm: Urbana region requests

4. Tuesday Feb. 28 9:00 am to noon: Reserve for carry over or follow-up issues to discuss analysis of Requests

Following the work sessions where the BOCC will be making preliminary decisions, staff will then prepare a review and analysis of the requests that received preliminary approval by the BOCC. The analysis will be provided to the BOCC for their review and consideration at a subsequent work session. **What you can do:** * PLEASE ATTEND. * Write letters to the editors of the Frederick News Post and the Gazette. For more information contact: Jim Gugel, Planning Manager, Community Development Division, 301-600-1144 or jgugel@FrederickCountymd.gov.

BOCC Hearings on 193 rezonings scheduled for January 2012

Board of County Commissioners Public Hearings

All of the hearings will be held in Winchester Hall, 1st Floor Hearing Room, starting at 6:00 pm. Speaker sign-up sheets will be available at 5:00 pm for each hearing. There will be separate speaker sign-up sheets for each planning region. Each speaker, whether it is an applicant or individual citizen, will be allowed 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 10 - AdamstownBrunswickFrederick regions

Wednesday, January 18 - Urbana region

Tuesday, January 24 - MiddletownThurmontWalkersville regions

Tuesday, January 31 - New Market region

Wednesday, February 1 – snow date

 

November 2011 Planning Commission Hearings CANCELLED

The Planning Commission voted 4-2 to recommend that the BOCC follow the existing Comprehensive Plan (and it’s supporting land use/zoning maps)

Between June 1 and July 15, 2011 a majority of Frederick County’s Board of Commissioners accepted requests from land owners to in red. change their zoning or land use designation. The county received 194 proposals that, if accepted, would forever alter up to 15,000 acres of open space and farmland.

You have the opportunity to express your opinion at the Planning Commission’s scheduled public hearings on these land use change requests. Please do.

When? Wednesday, November 16th, 6pm | Topic: New Market Thursday, November 17th, 6pm | Topic: Urbana  THE  PLANNING COMMISSION VOTED 4-2 TO RECOMMEND THE BOCC STICK WITH CURRENT 2010 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN, AND IT’S SUPPORTING LAND USE /ZONING MAP – AND DISCONTINUED THE PUBLIC HEARINGS.  READ MORE HERE.

October 2011:

Become aware of the potential rezoning and land use changes proposed near your home:

  • Open House October 19, 4:00 – 7:45pm Urbana Public Library, Small Community Room
  • Open House October 25th, 4:30-8pm Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick,  4880 Elmer Derr Rd, just off 15 south of Frederick.

Keep your eyes on the Partnerships and Efficiencies Committee:  Monday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. in the third floor meeting room in Winchester Hall. It will also be televised live on Channel 19.

September 2011:  Rezoning discussions to start

Take a look at the acreage proposed for rezoning (map coming soon).  If you’d like more specifics click here.

June 2011:  Citizens be damned month!

The BOCC  is accepting rezoning applications until July 15th to address grievances expressed from the ratification of the 2010 county rezoning map.

June 2 1o am Winchester Hall:  BOCC passed the FY2012 budget. Read FoFC’s position on the FY2012 budget.

June 16  1pm, Winchester Hall:  Privatization discussion based upon a 30-page report prepared by consultant, Oliver Porter, for $25000.  Report is unavailable to public until that meeting – although the county will have it the day before the meeting. Read FoFC’s position on privatization here.

June 29 7pm, Winchester Hall:  Public hearing before the Planning Commission on Mitigation Fees for school construction.  Read FoFC’s position on mitigation fees for school construction here.

May 2011

5/19  BOCC to discuss changing the county comprehensive plan, public meeting 10am Winchester Hall, item G

5/17 Village Center Zoning under threat of change: would allow Jefferson Food Lion!

March 2011

3/9  Planning Commission to discuss land use text ammendments

3/1  at 7pm Public Hearing on Repeal of Countywide APFO for schools, vote by BOCC  Citizens must come to speak out!  Read more in this bulletinYour child’s public education vs developer private interest BOCC voted 401 to repeal the APFO for schools county wide on annexed land after June 23, 2009.

 

February 2011

2/23  1pm Planning Commission on Repeal of  County wide APFO for schools:  Planning Commission voted 4 against the new APFO ordinance, which is essential a repeal of the county wide ordinance (McClurken, Forrence, White, Floyd),  and 3 for the new ordinance, or repeal of county wide APFO for schools (Lawrence,  Wolfe, Shreve)

Privatization trip to Sandy Spring Georgia:  read about towns that are voiding contracts with the same privatizing company – and why.

2/18  FoFC files request for all information on individual zoning map amendment or floating zone reclassification filed with the Zoning Administrator pursuant to Code §1-19-3.110.2.

2/18  FoFC files request for all information on Comprehensive Plan Zoning since Nov 1, 2010.

January 2011

1/31 FoFC files request for information on exchange between BOCC and Blickenstaff option or rezoning.

December 2010

December 21 8:30am: Agenda Briefing for Public Hearings Scheduled for Tuesday, January 4, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.   PUBLIC HEARING

* Zoning Text Amendment #ZT-10-05, Proposed Ordinance to Amend Certain Sections of the Frederick County Code Regarding Floodplain, Commercial and Business Schools, Public and Private Schools and Boarding Stables – Larry Smith, Planning Division

December 20 7pm: Public Hearing PATH Request – Board of Appeals Meeting regarding the PATH Request for Reconsideration, Winchester Hall

December 16 3pm: CANCELLED to be rescheduled BOCC to meet with municipalities:  discussion to include the APFO county-wide school test;  learn more about the significance of this decision to taxpayers and school renovation, and check out this fact sheet on the impact of residential growth on schools in Frederick County.

December 15: BOCC agreed to fund special study on costs for running sewer to northern annexation properties.

December 14: BOCC voted 3-1-1 (Blaine Young voted against, David Gray absent) to repeal the ethics law.  Public Hearing on January 4th 7pm, Winchester Hall.

December 11 Winchester Hall 1st floor:  Proposal to repeal ethics legislation

December 9/10 at Pine Cliff Park: strategic planning with department heads starting at 9am Thursday (all day Thursday and half day on Friday)   Commissioner Young announced creating a new position for a Special Project Manager to work directly with the BOCC, and filed the position with Mike Marschner, former DUSWM Director.  The Young Board had the option of cutting the Assistant County Manager  position – as it was left vacant by the previous BOCC (acknowledging that this BOCC wanted to CUT government) – but announced they had instead filled the position with David Dunn (Solid Waste Advisory Committee and strong proponent of WTE).  We are investigating another position created to explore privatizing government departments and tasks.

December 7 BOCC meeting: discussion on base budget, revenue projections, ethic ordinance and public ethics law, Md Open Meetings Act and Md Public Information

  1. Commissioner Young started a new 15 minute program to be aired at 5:30 and 8:30 pm on channel 9 called “This week in Frederick County”.  Commissioners and department heads are encouraged to be on the show.  Robin Santangelo also noted that there are other shows on Channel 19 FCG TV “inside Frederick County, “Health” and the “Best Kept Secrets”
  2. Budget discussion:  with county’s primary source of revenue, property taxes, falling with decrease in assessments (up to 26% decrease from 3 years ago), 11 million needs to be cut from budget.  BOCC to lobby delegation for more from highway user fee and lobby MACO for state school pension money – which could be as much as 9 million for the county.
  3. Commissioner Shreve suggested that Frederick County doesn’t need the Ethics Ordinance, The Frederick County Ethics Ordinance prohibits all covered persons from acting in their County positions in any matter that would have a direct financial impact on them or on a close relative or business associate. Both Commissioners Smith and Shreve made comments about repealing the ethics legislation.  No motion was made on said comments.

December 2 BOCC meeting:

December 1 BOCC meeting: Robert’s Rules changed to allow the president of the BOCC to make motions.  From John Mathias, Frederick County Attorney:  ”The parliamentary rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order cover many different types of group meetings from small entities of 3 or more members up to large organizations of thousands of members.  Some of the rules are more intended for the large organizations than the smaller ones.   The general rule prohibits the Chair from making a motion (although the Chair can ask the vice chair to preside temporarily while the Chair makes a motion).  The purpose of the rule is to allow the chair to focus more on the role of presiding at the meeting and making objective, impartial rulings on any parliamentary procedures.  Though not worded this way, the logic of Robert’s Rules seems to be that the Chair has plenty to do running the meeting without having to also make motions.    These concerns are much more prominent with a large society.  In fact, Robert’s Rules provides that for a board with fewer than a dozen members present, the Chair may make motions (as well as speak in debate and vote on motions) subject to the rule or custom of the particular board.  (Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th ed., Section 49, p. 471).    At the December 1 meeting, the BOCC, in effect, adopted a rule indicating that it would follow the Robert’s Rules guidance for a small board and allow the Chair to make motions.”

Discussion of public/private partnerships and who will pay for infrastructure?

Join the discussion group and ask questions, share you views and concerns!

Click here.

June seminars about: Green Practices for Property Management

Green Practices for Property Management Seminar Series…Read more here!

05/28/13 Study shows smart growth benefits local financial health

Blog post from Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America

Building Better Budgets quantifies average savings and revenue of smart growth development

Building Better BudgetsLocal governments across the country have compared development strategies to understand their impact on municipal finances. These studies generally compare two or more different development scenarios, and help local leaders make informed decisions about new development based on the costs or revenues associated with them.

Many municipalities have found that a smart growth approach would improve their financial bottom line. Whether by saving money on upfront infrastructure; reducing the cost of ongoing services like fire, police and ambulance; or by generating greater tax revenues in years to come, community after community has found that smart growth development would benefit their overall financial health. Many of these findings have been made publicly available.

No national survey has examined these savings as a whole until now.This report is the first to aggregate those comparisons and determine a national average of how much other communities can expect to save by using smart growth strategies.

Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development surveys 17 studies that compare different development scenarios, including a brand-new study of Nashville-Davidson County, TN, commissioned specifically for this report.

The report looks at the costs associated with smart growth development and conventional suburban development, as well as each strategy’s revenue potential. When compared to one another, we find:

bbb-infra 1. Smart growth development costs one-third less for upfront infrastructure.

Our survey concluded that smart growth development saves an average of 38 percent on upfront costs for new construction of roads, sewers, water lines and other infrastructure. Many studies have concluded that this number is as high as 50 percent.

bbb-services 2. Smart growth development saves an average of 10 percent on ongoing delivery of services.

Our survey concluded that smart growth development saves municipalities an average of 10 percent on police, ambulance and fire service costs.

bbb-revenue 3. Smart growth development generates 10 times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development.

Our survey concluded that, on an average per-acre basis, smart growth development produces 10 times more tax revenue than conventional suburban development.

An opportunity for municipal leaders

Local leaders everywhere can use this information to make better fiscal decisions about development in their region.

The evidence presented in this report suggests improved strategies for land use and development can help local governments maintain and improve their fiscal solvency. As this report shows, smart growth development can reduce costs and in many cases increase tax revenue. This combination means that in some cases smart growth development can generate more revenue than it costs to operate.

These findings are true for any rural, suburban or urban community, anywhere in the country. Local governments throughout the United States are already facing unprecedented challenges in providing high-quality infrastructure and adequate public services to their residents on a tight budget. Choosing financially responsible development patterns can help communities across the country protect their fiscal health for generations to come.

Download the report

Click here to download

Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development (PDF)

http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/building-better-budgets.pdf

 

 

 

New report that looks at penalties for pollution: are they enough to deter industry?

No Profit in Pollution: a comparison of key Chesapeake Bay state water pollution penalty policies

 

“Industries that discharge water pollution are required to abide by clean water laws and regulations that limit how much they can pollute the nation’s rivers, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water. If they exceed their limits or, fail to implement appropriate methods for controlling their pollution, they violate the law. Such violations should trigger appropriate economic sanctions to deter all regulated entities from committing future violations.  All too often, however, polluters may weigh decisions about whether and how much to pollute from a dollars-and-cents perspective only, comparing the costs of compliance with the penalties to which they may be subject for exceeding applicable discharge limits.”

 

 

Shad restoration in the Potomac River: an economic resource and ecological experiment

Restoration of the American Shad in the Potomac River

Mr. James Cummins, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin

(This text is a summary of Mr. Cummin’s presentation at Hood College Symposium, March 7, 2013)

The American Shad is the world’s largest herring.  It spends most of its life along the Atlantic coastline, ranging from Florida to Canada, but returns to freshwater rivers to spawn.  Its life cycle can be a 12,000 mile journey.   Shad are not only an esteemed food for humans, they are important in the ecosystem because they are food for so many different species, like the Bald Eagle and Bottlenose Dolphin.  Shad are historically important to our country and sustained many economies.  Tens of millions of shad were once harvested each spring in the Potomac alone.   They were typically smoked and salted in barrels.   They were in huge demand were transported  long distances inland.   They were the number one item in terms of dollar value transported upstream on the C&O canal. Unfortunately, through overfishing, pollution and loss of spawning habitat primarily by dams, their populations plummeted and the fishery was closed in the Potomac in 1982.

An American shad restoration program began in 1995, managed by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, which worked with local watermen and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.   Spawning shad are netted and their eggs collected, fertilized, taken to a hatchery and then stocked in the Potomac when they are small fry.   A dam in the Potomac River at Little Falls, near Washington, D.C., blocked their upstream migration.    In 2000 a new fish way was installed which is basically a notch in the dam with three weirs to reduce flow and allow fish to pass.    Shad stocking also became a local school project with over 50 schools now involved in hatching shad in their classrooms.    After they hatch, students go to the river to release their fry.   This has worked well for schools because they are helping restore the shad and the quick development of the fish is easy and fun for the students to observe.

The exciting news is the restoration has been successful, the American shad population of the Potomac has rebounded and in 2012 was declared a sustainable fishery once again.   Sadly though, the Potomac is the only river along the entire east coast that has improved to such an extent.   Fortunately, the Potomac now serves as the egg source for shad restoration in other rivers including the Rappahannock River in Virginia, all shad restoration rivers in Maryland, and the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers in Pennsylvania.    Hopefully, all of the rivers in the east coast will once again run silver with shad.

Urban forestry – an important component to protecting the Chesapeake Bay

Urban Forestry: An Increasingly Critical Component of the Landscape

Mr. Michael Galvin, SavATree

(This text is a summary of Mr. Galvin’s presentation at Hood College Symposium, March 7, 2013)

Current decisions are being made at a local, land parcel level.  When only one person cuts down a tree, this doesn’t make a huge difference.  However, when everyone does, it greatly impacts the environment.  When literature was published showing that the Chesapeake Bay was in serious trouble during the 1970s and 1980s, people didn’t want to put together any regulatory actions.  When goals were not being met for the health of the bay, this area implemented a series of laws that have made the area highly regulated and a model for other states in similar circumstances.  Baltimore is the site of an Urban Long Term Ecological Research project.  These began in Phoenix and Baltimore as a result of their commissioning by the National Science Foundation.  They were commissioned because for the first time in history we have more people living in cities than in rural environments.  In urban areas the water table functions differently and the hydrology is altered.  Water in urban environments becomes more of a nuisance rather than a resource (think Carroll Creek Park).  Also, urban environments are almost entirely impervious cover in most cases.  This decreases stream health.  By adopting a program for the Bay’s health, riparian forest buffer have been implemented and continue to expand.  Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) have been used for jurisdictional plans for meeting watershed health guidelines.  These have helped to see the improvement that we do with the current health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  In Washington, D.C., urban tree canopy have been used significantly to improve air pollution levels.  This strategy has been incorporated into the WIPs of 5 of the 7 bay states.  We continue to experiment with strategies to improve the life of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and urban forestry has been instrumental in this process.

Will climate change impact the Potomac watershed?

Future Climate Change in the Potomac Watershed

Bart Merrick, NOAA Chesapeake Bay

(This text is a summary of Mr. Merrick’s presentation at Hood College Symposium, March 7, 2013)

Mr. Merrick outlined the models and factors that have contributed to the conclusion that climate scientists have come to: there is a warming climate trend.  These factors such as the levels of certain elements in the atmosphere have been followed for a very long time.  We are even able to ascertain some of them from ice cores, allowing us to determine these things well before there were knowledgeable scientists walking the earth.  These changes in the climate will affect all of our lives to the most personal levels such as, where you want to live and work.  Using the Global Climate Model (GCM), he explained that this splits the land, ocean and atmosphere into three-dimensional boxes.  First, we have to fully understand the way in which the processes on Earth work, and then we can transfer that into math with equations.  These are then coded and put into the model to give us a visual representation of the way in which the energy is moving on earth.  While they are many other kinds of models used for similar purposes, each has its own strengths and weaknesses.  However, as a whole all of these models are showing us that there is a warming trend happening.

To use these models effectively on a smaller scale we have to downscale them.  This relates what we see in the global model down to a local climate.  There are a couple of different ways to do that including dynamic downscaling, using the output of the global models to create a local one. This brings us to the models that we use for the Chesapeake Bay.  These include the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model, the Chesapeake Inundation Predictions System and the Chesapeake Bay Forecasting System.  The Watershed Model shows the impact of climate on water quality.  The Inundation Prediction System shows the affects on sea level and the Forecasting System pinpoints vital characteristics and how they are affected.

All of these models do have some error.  Aside from variability, they operate under certain greenhouse gas levels, if those aren’t what exists in the atmosphere, what we see here will not be what the models will have shown us. The question is, what can we expect in the future? Depending on how severe the scenario, we could end up with water temperatures closer to those in North Carolina or even Florida.  Our normal distribution of weather patterns will move towards greater variability and a warmer trend.  This means more hot days and record-breaking temperatures too.   We will be seeing more extreme weather in general, especially in our natural disasters.  Storms that were considered once every one hundred years will be coming every sixty.  Greater precipitation will occur in the winter but not so much change for the summer months.  In essence, we could be up against a variety of things, we don’t have an exact answer.  However, this is the purpose of models, to show us a range of what we could be up against in the next ten years.

 

3/11/13 Are the outer suburbs (or “exurbs) dying?

Check out this radio show from May 2012 – old but still relevant!

Copied from the website:

Census Bureau data from April shows that outer exurbs are dying and urban cores are growing.

From The New York Times:

 

“The country’s outer suburbs, often referred to as the exurbs by demographers, were at the forefront of the country’s population growth for most of the last decade. New houses mushroomed in those areas as young families bought homes on credit that was easy to get, following the tradition of moving to the suburbs to begin adult lives. 

But when the housing market collapsed, growth in those areas slowed drastically. The economic recovery has not revived population growth in those areas and, according to an analysis by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, has only served to flatten it further.”

 

What are the reasons for this trend? Can the exurbs make a comeback?

Tanya Snyder, Streetsblog’s Capitol Hill editor, will join The Daily Circuit Friday to talk about the future of exurbs.

“The latest numbers, capturing the year (actually 15 months, April 2010 to July 2011) since the last Census, showed a major shift away from the settlement patterns from 2000 to 2010,” Snyder wrote on Streetsblog. “That’s not exactly how it happened. The shift didn’t suddenly happen in 2010. The 2000-2010 numbers encompass a decade whose first two-thirds were the heyday of an economic boom that buoyed greenfield development. The real break was in 2007, when the housing bubble burst and the artificially inflated value of the outer suburbs crashed.”

Charles Marohn, executive director of Strong Towns, will also join the discussion.

03/11/13 – Young Voices for the Planet Films

Come out to see films from Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP). They show inspiring youth solutions to the climate crisis. The Young Voices for the Planet films are included in the 2013 Wild & Scenic Film Festival Tour, in Wild & Scenic’s Program “A Climate of  Change,” and in the 2013 Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) showcase.

Upcoming Screenings

Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m.

Team Marine

Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Host: River Alliance of Wisconsin

 

Saturday, March 23, 12-1:30 p.m.

Olivia’s Birds and the Oil Spill

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD

Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) Showcase “Women in Film: Past, Present & Future”

Host: The Annapolis Film Festival

 

Please contact us at youngvoicesforplanet@gmail.com, if you would like to do additional screenings!

 

Lynne Cherry, Producer/Director

Young Voices for the Planet film series

 

Facebook: Young Voices for the Planet

Facebook: Young Voices on Climate Change

Twitter: @YoungClimate