Monrovia Town Center: Council Won’t Nullify Prior Zoning Approvals

I’d by lying if I didn’t say that I was disappointed with the Council today. he lead story in today’s Frederick News-Post is an article confirming that the developer will be allowed to continue in the development process – “at risk” – while the Council-ordered review waits to begin (you can read the story here).

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Council President Bud Otis said that they would not vote again on their September 1 decision to restart the process. We applauded their decision back on September 1, but since then, we have urged them to go back and restate their motion to make it clear that they intended to vacate the prior zoning approval.

The problem is that the developer is ignoring the new process and pressing ahead based on their old, repudiated approvals by the BoCC. They told the Council that they won’t cooperate and they are aggressively seeking staff-level approvals in all phases of the development. In the meantime, the County attorney’s have convinced the Council that anything the developer does can be reversed if that is the outcome of the Council process. To be blunt – the attorneys are wrong. What’s worse, these are the same attorneys that architected the original approvals so why their opinion is being given so much weight is beyond me.

In the meantime, we sought to appeal the first of these staff-level actions – a land transfer to the County for the proposed water tank. The same attorneys that have been guiding the County on these issues first said that we couldn’t appeal their decision.

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When we asked them to reconsider that decision, providing a sound legal argument to do so, they then said there was no process for asking them to reconsider their decision. The door was slammed in our faces.

This is a very frustrating time for us now. We’ve come so far, we have the new process that we sought – but it can all be undone if the developer makes too much progress. We’ll continue to press the Council on this issue and I urge you to do the same.

Here are the email addresses for the Council members:

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Bud Otis: BOtis@FrederickCountyMD.gov
MC Keegan-Ayer: MCKeegan-Ayer@FrederickCountyMD.gov
Tony Chmelik: TChmelik@FrederickCountyMD.gov
Jessica Fitzwater: JFitzwater@FrederickCountyMD.gov
Jerry Donald: JDonald@FrederickCountyMD.gov
Billy Shreve: Billy@FrederickCountyMD.gov
Kirby Delauter: KDelauter@FrederickCountyMD.gov

You may want to copy County Executive Jan Gardner in your correspondence:

Jan Gardner: JGardner@FrederickCountyMD.gov

This has also been a hard process financially. We have tough choices to make about how to approach this situation and we have limited resources to do so. Please consider making a donation to RALE to help us keep up the fight! I know that this is a hard time of the year on the budget, but if you can help, we’d really appreciate it. Just remember that your donations are not tax deductible.

From myself and all of us at RALE, we wish you and your family our warmest wishes for this holiday season.


Frederick News Post
Frederick County Council will not vote again on Monrovia Town Center
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
By Danielle E. Gaines

Frederick News Post
Council votes to rehear Monrovia Town Center case from the start
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
By Jen Fifield

Frederick News Post
Letter to the Editor
County Council should halt Monrovia Town Center moving forward
Dec 13, 2015
by Steve McKay

Matt Seubert, Vice President of RALE (Residents Against Landsdale Expansion) was recently a guest on Eye on our Community (1450AM) discussing recent developments in the long-running saga of the Monrovia Town Center. You can listen to the show here: http://www.wthu.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Matt-Seubert-120715.mp3

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RALE – Residents Against Landsdale Expansion on the web.

RALE – Residents Against Landsdale Expansion on Facebook.

@RALEMonrovia on Twitter.