Call to Stop Late-Term Development Applications

EXCERPT: In summary, we challenge the BoCC to halt this rush to take action prior to the end of their term. These commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to the residents of Frederick County to halt this headlong rush to commit the County to yet more development and more binding 25-year contracts. These development decisions will commit Frederick County’s taxpayers to decades of higher taxes and spending on new schools and road improvements. The people of Frederick County will vote soon, and they may either affirm or reject this BoCC’s development policies. The BoCC should wait and hear what the people have to say before forcing rushed approvals.

RALE10300newhomes


RALE
September 16, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COMMUNITY GROUPS CALL FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO SUSPEND RUSH OF DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS UNTIL AFTER NEW CHARTER GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TAKE OFFICE

HIGHLIGHTS

• Rushing these development decisions at the end of their term is an abuse of power

• Immediately cease the rush of residential development applications

• Blentlinger PUD will add 720 homes to the crowded development area north of New Market, just after the BoCC approved 2,000 homes with the Casey PUD and the Smith/Cline annexation

• BoCC acting to approve at least four DRRAs in a daytime hearing with limited citizen involvement

• Decades of higher taxes and spending on new schools and road improvements

RALE is joined by Republicans for Jan Gardner, Cleanwater Linganore, and Stop the Sale of Montevue/Citizens, to call upon the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) – President Blaine Young, and Commissioners Paul Smith, Kirby Delauter, Billy Shreve, and David Gray – to immediately cease the rush of residential development applications being pushed through the approval process in the last few months before the transition to the Frederick County Charter Government.

According to the Frederick News-Post, “County planning staff have had their hands full trying to bring a large number of developments to the planning commission and county commissioners before the current administration ends later this year.” (FNP, 8/29/14) In addition to recent actions on the Casey PUD, Daysville Glen, and Tallyn Ridge, the BoCC and Planning Commission also have scheduled upcoming hearings for Monrovia Town Center, Blentlinger PUD, Monocacy Glen, Rayburn, Ratley, and the Hogan Property.

The Blentlinger PUD is the largest new development still pending before the BoCC. This development will add 720 homes to the crowded development area north of New Market, which has already recently seen approximately 2000 additional homes approved within the Casey PUD and the Smith/Cline property annexed by New Market. All these developments will have negative effects on the critical watershed for Lake Linganore and will further strain the area’s over-taxed road and school infrastructure.

The most egregious action currently planned by the Blaine Young BoCC is scheduled for October 9. At that hearing, scheduled for the middle of a workday, the BoCC intends to review at least four more Development Rights & Responsibilities Agreements (DRRAs).

The BoCC’s rush to sign these new DRRAs is particularly worrisome because the agreements will tie the hands of the future Charter Government leaders for up to 25 years. In light of the ongoing hotly contested election campaigns, with Frederick County citizens clearly concerned about the development policies of this BoCC, rushing these decisions to push them through before the end of this BoCC’s term is an abuse of power.

We are also very concerned that the upcoming water & sewer reviews for Monrovia Town Center may mean that the BoCC is rushing to schedule the Phase II hearing for the development. We question whether County staff has taken all necessary steps to consider such advanced measures so soon after the PUD zoning was decided last Spring. Further, in light of RALE’s pending appeals before the Circuit Court of Frederick County, we strongly believe it is in the best interests of the citizens of Frederick County that the planning activity be stopped until the new government is seated and the court has heard the appeal cases.

In summary, we challenge the BoCC to halt this rush to take action prior to the end of their term. These commissioners have a fiduciary responsibility to the residents of Frederick County to halt this headlong rush to commit the County to yet more development and more binding 25-year contracts. These development decisions will commit Frederick County’s taxpayers to decades of higher taxes and spending on new schools and road improvements. The people of Frederick County will vote soon, and they may either affirm or reject this BoCC’s development policies. The BoCC should wait and hear what the people have to say before forcing rushed approvals.

RALE
Steve McKay
RALEMonrovia@gmail.com
www.RALEMOnrovia.com
www.facebook.com/RALE.Monrovia

Republicans for Jan Gardner:
Craig Hicks
RepublicansForJanGardner@gmail.com
www.republicansforjangardner.com
www.facebook.com/RepublicansForJanGardner

Cleanwater Linganore:
Betsy Smith
hallschoice@verizon.net
www.cleanwater-linganore.org
www.facebook.com/cwlinganore

Stop the Sale of Montevue/Citizens:
Steve Bruns
stevebruns@aol.com
www.facebook.com/StopTheSaleOfMontevueCitizens

RALEtakebackfrederickcounty