Final Monrovia Town Center Public Hearings: April 23rd & 24th

Commissioners President Blaine Young said “his” hearings would be done in one night.

How about three nights down and we’re not done yet! We go back to work at 6:00pm on Wednesday April 23rd at Winchester Hall.

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The evening begins with RALE’s lawyer Michele Rosenfeld conducting her cross-examination of the developer team. Afterwards, it’s your turn. Now is the time for public testimony about the Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreement (DRRA) and the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance Letter of Understanding (APFO LOU). More than 80 people signed up to speak on these issues. If everyone shows up, the hearings will probably go to Day 5 on the 24th!

Any and all testimony is worthwhile. To have the most constructive impact, however, I encourage you to focus your testimony on aspects of the DRRA and the APFO LOU. (It is important to remember that any legal challenges to the DRRA or the LOU will be strictly limited to what is in the official record. That is one of the key reasons it is important we ask questions, express concerns and raise specific issues here, even if we know they are likely to be ignored by a majority of the Board of County Commissioners.)

For example:

    1. Do you really think that this development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. Hint – it is not.

    2. Do you think the 18-year duration of the contract that, will bind 4-5 future County governments, is good public policy?

    3. Do you believe that the County has a plan to mitigate the impact on our schools?

    4. Do you believe that the County has a plan deal with the safety and traffic issues on Route 75? I know we’ve talked about these issues in prior hearings, but it is STILL a problem, and it is very relevant to this portion of the hearing.

    5. Do you think that their traffic study was effective considering that it ignored Weller and Ed McLain Roads, and the traffic counts at intersections like Route 75 and MD 355 seem too low.

    6. What do you think about the fact that there will be a 4-lane highway separating seniors on the east side from the commercial portion, and the students on the west side from the high school. Does that sound like a “walkable community” to you?

    7.Does anyone really think that the “age-restricted” community will stay age-restricted?

    8. Would you send your children to a high school located right under high tension power lines? Is that proffered high school site worth anything?

    9. Have you read the LOU and noticed how easy it will be for the developer to buy their way out of many major road projects? Who will do the work after the developer writes a check? When will the work be done? There are no answers to these questions in either the DRRA or the LOU. Is anyone feeling very trusting in the County to do these jobs?

    10. Did you know that this 18 year contract is dependent on two memoranda that haven’t been written (Water Tank and High School Site), and involve parties that aren’t part of the contract? Does this sound like good business sense?

That’s just a few things – I know you’ll each bring your own valuable perspective.

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When all the testimony is over, the developer will have 5 minutes for their rebuttal. If this goes like the zoning portion of the hearing, we can then expect the Commissioners to spend the next half hour lobbing softball questions and falling over themselves praising the developer team. Not exactly neutral are they? I know, I know – we’ve always know they aren’t.

The Commissioners will deliberate over zoning and DRRA/LOU issues and then they’ll make their decisions. In all likelihood they’ll approve and that will officially begin the next phase of our efforts.

2101-2014BOCC300wOne last thought. Each and every one of those Commissioners are seeking further elected office. Commissioners Young and Gray will face off against each other for the Republican nomination for the County Executive seat. Paul Young wants to be a State Delegate. Kirby Delauter is seeking a Council seat for District 5, and Billy Shreve is seeking an At-Large Council seat. Four out of those five do not want to still be discussing this issue. They would much prefer this to have been completed months ago.

Development is a big issue in this campaign, and they are on the wrong side of the issue. Let’s be sure and remind them of that. Let’s be sure to tell them that come election time, you won’t forget how they voted. Tell them you won’t forget how they traded your health, safety, and welfare away to line the pockets of a few developers.

Revised Monrovia Town Center Concept (with circles added).

Revised Monrovia Town Center Concept (with circles added).


More information

RALE – Residents Against Landsdale Expansion on the web.

RALE – Residents Against Landsdale Expansion on Facebook.

@RALEMonrovia on Twitter.

Previous Guest Blog entries about this issue:

A citizen speaks out about the Monrovia Town Center and the county commissioners

Controversial Monrovia Town Center comes down to final…and vital…public hearings

New Monrovia Town Center Hearings Start on Wednesday, March 19

$77,000,000.00

Say NO to the Monrovia Town Center! Say no to sprawl, congestion, overcrowded schools and massive subsidies to developers

BOCC hearing on Monrovia Town Center next week matters to all county residents and taxpayers!

‘Friends of Frederick County’ testimony regarding the Monrovia Town Center

Make Your Voice Heard on October 23rd (oppose the Monrovia Town Center)

Open Letter to the Frederick County Planning Commission

Fighting for our community by fighting against the Monrovia Town Center

Some of the other media coverage about this issue:

Monrovia project opponents scrutinize Young’s campaign donations
Frederick News Post
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A missing balance
FNP column by Fred Ugast
Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Proposed Monrovia Town Center draws crowds to county hearing
Frederick News Post
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Maryland planning official says state not responsible for town center density
Frederick News Post
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dozens speak out on Monrovia Town Center
Frederick News Post
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Development and death in Monrovia
Frederick News Post
Friday, November 8, 2013 2:00 am

Proud of citizen involvement
FNP Letter to the Editor by Jan Gardner
Sunday, November 10, 2013

Monrovia residents say impact fee elimination would be developer boon
Frederick News Post
Sunday, November 17, 2013

Commission votes favorably on Monrovia Town Center rezoning
Frederick News Post
Thursday, November 21, 2013

RALE: Town center study underestimates increased traffic
Frederick News Post
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Traffic study’s flaws need addressing
FNP Editorial
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It pays to pay attention to local government
FNP Letter to the Editor
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Development burden
FNP Editorial
Saturday, December 7, 2013

Monrovia Town Center hearings begin tonight
Frederick News Post
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hundreds show up at Monrovia Town Center hearing
Frederick News Post
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Monrovia Town Center: Round 2
Residents voice concerns during second hearing with county
Frederick News Post
Thursday, January 16, 2014

Scaled-back Monrovia Town Center passes commissioners
Frederick News Post
Friday, January 17, 2014

Not impartial
FNP Letter to the Editor
Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blaine Young’s full transparency
FNP Editorial
Monday, January 20, 2014

Frederick County’s one-man band
FNP column by Bill Pritchard
Sunday, January 26, 2014

Surprise! Surprise!
FNP Letter to the Editor by William Bugg
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Monrovia Town Center developer meets with public
Frederick News Post
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Commission OKs revised zoning map for Monrovia Town Center
Frederick News Post
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Planners OK Monrovia Town Center plan
Frederick News Post
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Habitat…For Humanity
Frederick Gorilla column by Matt Edens
March 28, 2014

On the record inconsistencies during Monrovia hearing
Frederick News Post
Letter to the Editor by Steve McKay
Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blaine’s boondoggles
Frederick News Post column by Boyce Rensberger
Monday, March 31, 2014

‘Just plain arrogance’
Frederick News Post Letter to the Editor by Amy Reyes
Friday, April 4, 2014

Traffic concerns raised at Landsdale development hearing
Frederick News Post
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Commissioners hear testimony on Monrovia Town Center plan
Frederick News Post
Thursday, April 10, 2014

Night 3: Monrovia Town Center opponents question county staff
Frederick News Post
Friday, April 11, 2014