City reverses Citizens-Montevue subdivision

Some now hope county will reconsider sale
Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
11/27/2013
The Frederick County Board of County Commissioners will need to retrace its steps when pursuing the privatization of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facility. The city's Zoning Board of Appeals voted Tuesday to reverse the city Planning Commission's decision to subdivide the land. The land the centers sit upon must be subdivided from the rest of the parcel they are on in order for the county to sell the land and privatize the centers. The Board of County Commissioners voted this past summer to privatize the centers. A planned sale to Millersville-based Aurora Health Management, which is now operating the centers, is not yet final. The plan has faced opposition from residents and members of the centers' former board of trustees, who think the centers should continue to serve as public entities serving low-income residents. The board of trustees was dissolved in June when the county commissioners voted to move forward with the sale of the two facilities. In its decision Tuesday, the board agreed with the one former board member and two residents who appealed the Planning Commission's decision in a few ways, stating that the county's application was not complete, and the commission should have considered the intent of the subdivision and how the county's plan for the land would affect city residents. The commission erred when considering the incomplete application, erred in failing to evaluate whether the plan conflicted with the city's comprehensive plan, and erred when thinking that that they were restricted from asking the county its plan for the land, said Jim Racheff, zoning board chairman. The zoning board voted unanimously to vacate the approval of the subdivision, and remand it back to the planning process.

Vote set on Citizens, Montevue land next week

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
11/19/2013
Frederick County commissioners could be forced to take a step backward in their mission to privatize Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facility. The city of Frederick’s Zoning Board of Appeals is to make a final decision Nov. 26 on whether the city’s Planning Commission was justified in May when it approved the county’s request to subdivide the centers’ land. The county asked to split the 41-acre site into two parcels — one with Citizens and Montevue, and the other with the remaining buildings. The land must be subdivided to move forward with the sale of the centers. After the Planning Commission voted to subdivide the land, commissioners voted to privatize the centers. A planned sale to Millersville-based Aurora Health Management is not yet final.

City's appeal board reconsidering Citizens, Montevue subdivision

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
10/23/2013
The members of Frederick’s Zoning Board of Appeals are considering whether to reverse the city Planning Commission’s decision to subdivide Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Facility. Subdividing the land allows the Board of County Commissioners to proceed with selling it and privatize the centers. On Tuesday night, the board heard a May 7 appeal of the Planning Commission decision from Frederick law firm Powell Flynn, filed on behalf of Janie Denn and Kathleen Murphy, who live near the centers, and Charles Trunk III, former chairman of the Citizens and Montevue board of trustees. But no decisions were made Tuesday; the board continued the item to another hearing. About 40 residents attended the appeal hearing, often scoffing when the county and city attorneys spoke. On behalf of the appellants, attorney Paul Flynn of Powell Flynn said Tuesday that when considering the subdivision request, the Planning Commission should have considered the potential sale of the land, and should have realized the impact the subdivision and sale would have on the community. The county’s application was also incomplete at the time the commission approved it, making it defective when filed, Flynn said. When approving the subdivision, the Planning Commission members stated that, because they were approving a subdivision request only, the potential sale and use of the land were not in their purview. The Planning Commission made several errors regarding their analysis of the case, Zoning Board of Appeals chair Jim Racheff said. Racheff said the commission never bothered to ask the intent of the subdivision, and it seems from their testimony that they did not feel they were allowed. Because they did not think they could ask of the intent, “they just simply didn’t consider any of these elements” of whether there are mitigating factors on the impact of the land. Racheff said that the Planning Commission erred when considering the code. There should have been a lot more delving into the issue, said board member Gail Colby.

[City of Frederick Planning] Commission to review Wal-Mart proposal

Frederick News Post
06/09/2013
Wal-Mart's proposal for the Frederick Towne Mall property gets another review Monday. The Frederick Planning Commission, with a packed agenda, will consider Wal-Mart's proposal to tear down the mall at 1301 W. Patrick St., leave Boscov's, Ollie's Bargain Outlet and Home Depot as they are, and build a Wal-Mart on the north side of the 40-acre site. The commission meets at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Board Room at 101 N. Court St.

Former Frederick planning commissioner files for aldermen

Democrat Josh Bokee, 39, joins nine others as field grows for city board race
Gazette
Tripp Laino
05/03/2013
Former city planning commission member Josh Bokee has joined a growing field of candidates vying for a seat on the five-member Frederick Board of Aldermen. Bokee, 39, a Democrat who has lived in the city for nine years, said his experience as a member of the Frederick Planning Commission would aid him in his run for alderman.

Frederick County reviewing three bids to buy senior-care facilities

Some fear sale of properties could hurt older citizens
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
03/19/2013
Frederick County is one step closer to selling its nursing home and assisted-living facility for low-income senior citizens, in a move that still is being opposed by some advocates for older residents. County officials and legal and financial experts are reviewing three of six companies that submitted bids to buy the facilities by the March 12 deadline. The three nationwide firms with offices in Maryland include Aurora Healthcare Management, Millennium Management and NMS Healthcare. “These are the three firms we felt were worth taking to the next level,” County Manager Lori Depies said in a media conference call on Tuesday. The next steps will be visiting each firm, conducting interviews, assessing their patient care, talking to employees and analyzing their finances, Depies said.

Planners envision Golden Mile project

Preliminary sketch calls for redevelopment of 56 acres owned by VFW
Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
07/17/2012
A new vision of the Golden Mile's western end came into view Monday. The city's planning commissioners had their first look at a rough sketch for redevelopment of 56 acres of the golf course and land belonging to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Old National Pike and Mount Phillip Road.

Annexation passes to mayor, aldermen with approval

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
07/12/2012
There is no legal reason to keep 500 acres from being annexed by the city this year, Frederick planning commissioners concluded Wednesday.