A report commissioned by Monrovia residents states that a transportation study for a proposed 1,510-home development in the area is riddled with flaws and underestimates the traffic that would be created by the new housing.
The group of residents who oppose the Monrovia Town Center project has sent the analysis to officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration. The group, Residents Against Landsdale Expansion, also requested a meeting with state transportation officials before Frederick County commissioners begin deliberating on the town center project planned near Md. 75 and Md. 80.
Wednesday May 22nd, 2013 Public Hearing on Eaglehead PUD and 25 year DRRA with Planning Commission, Winchester Hall, 12 E Church St. Frederick
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
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.
Wednesday, January 18 - Urbana region
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.
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
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.
5/19 BOCC to discuss changing the county comprehensive plan, public meeting 10am Winchester Hall, item G
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.
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.
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
- 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”
- 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.
- 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.”
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)
To learn more please click here for the Casey Property PUD fact sheet.
Map below shows streams surrounded by floodplain, forest (green) and blue for ponds and wetlands.
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…