BREAKING NEWS: Valois family withdraws application for training center and firing ranges

Old Line Arsenal, LLC (aka Old Line Academy) has withdrawn their request to the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals for a “Special Exception to establish a Shooting Range/Club” on a 262 acre property, on Thurston Road, adjacent to the Stronghold Preserve at Sugarloaf Mountain.

This evening, at the beginning of the continuation of the public hearing begun last Thursday afternoon and evening, Andrew Valois, son of the owner of the property, asked for the opportunity to address the board and the audience (which filled the hearing room).

Andrew Valois making his statement of withdrawl to the Board of Zoning Appeals at the beginning of the public hearing Tuesday evening.

Andrew Valois making his statement of withdrawl to the Board of Zoning Appeals at the beginning of the public hearing Tuesday evening.

He then read a prepared statement for a few minutes, referring to what they had hoped to do on the property, describing some of the ways opponents had gone over the top in their behavior, but also referring thoughtfully to some of the specific examples of civil comments and concerns expressed by others who have been fighting the proposal. He concluded with the clear and unambiguous statement that the request was being withdrawn, and that his family intended to do something else with the property — something that would be more compatible with the nature of the area.

His comments received strong and sustained applause and appreciation from the audience.

Moments later, the hearing was adjourned.

Andrew Valois, speaking during the applicant's presentation last Thursday afternoon.

Andrew Valois, speaking during the applicant’s presentation last Thursday afternoon.

EDITED to add: Here is the video:
http://frederick.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=4515
(Valois’ comments begin about six minutes into the video.)


EDITED to add:

Washington Post (by Bill Turque)
Frederick family withdraws plans for shooting range near Sugarloaf Mountain
September 2, 2014


Sugarloaf Alliance on the web
Sugarloaf Alliance on Facebook

Old Line Academy on Facebook

Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals Staff Report as a pdf file

Board of Zoning Appeals Agenda as a pdf file

Frederick County Comprehensive Plan

Sugarloaf Alliance press release: “Sugarloaf Mountain at Risk!”

Envision Frederick County
Key point enough to shoot down proposed firing range
Monday, September 2, 2014

Frederick News Post
Sugarloaf residents resist firing range plan during nine-hour hearing
Friday, August 29, 2014

Envision Frederick County
Old Line Academy spokesperson out of line
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Frederick News Post, Letter to the Editor, by Nick Carrera
“Gun range approval would weaken zoning regulations”
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Frederick News Post
“Board postpones hearing on gun range
Friday, July 25, 2014

WJLA
Overwhelming public attendance, outrage postpones meeting on proposed Frederick gun range
July 25, 2014

Frederick News Post, Letter to the Editor, by Margy Simpson
“Firing ranges and horses don’t mix”
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frederick News Post
“Sugarloaf area residents fight plans for shooting range”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014