Holtzinger Files for Mayor

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/27/2013
The long anticipated entry into the City of Frederick mayoral race by Jeff Holtzinger is now official with his filing for the office at city hall. The former one term mayor will face incumbent Randy McClement in the Republican primary. The race for mayor promises to be the one to watch in the city election where voters will elect a mayor and a five member board of aldermen. Already in the race for mayor, are Delegate Galen Clagett and alderwoman Karen Young who will face each other in the Democratic primary. Rounding out the familiar faces is former Democrat Jennifer Dougherty, another one term mayor, who on her fifth run for the office, has filed as an unaffiliated candidate. The Republican and Democratic primaries will be held on September 10 and Dougherty, who will not have a primary, receives a free pass to the General Election to be held on November 5.

Holtzinger announces candidacy for mayor

Frederick News Post
Jen Bondeson
06/27/2013
Former Frederick mayor Jeff Holtzinger has filed to run for the city's top spot again. Holtzinger (R) filed Wednesday to run for mayor in the city's Nov. 5 general election. He served as Frederick's mayor from 2005 to 2009. When he left office in 2009, Holtzinger said he did not expect to run again.

Rezoning for Wal-Mart would have conditions

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
06/20/2013
Wal-Mart or no Wal-Mart, the Frederick Towne Mall site will have conditions attached to its rezoning if it gets rezoned next month, city officials agreed Wednesday. The Board of Aldermen came to the conclusion that conditionally rezoning the property at 1301 W. Patrick St. to general commercial zoning has the potential to advance the city's long-range plans for the area's redevelopment. They agreed the conditions attached to the rezoning should be general concepts and goals, not a specific plan that Wal-Mart has presented.

Watching elected officials over Wal-Mart

Frederick News Post
Katherine Logan
06/16/2013
Despite what you may hear, many of us are against the proposal of a new Wal-Mart at the old Frederick Towne Mall. There is a petition with over 1,500 signatures and yet the public outcry against this has gone unanswered by our elected officials. Instead, we are left with the consistent denial of the “elephant” in the room while city officials repeatedly say this isn’t about Wal-Mart. This is about Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart, zoning and blight among topics pondered by city officials

Frederick News Post
Ed Waters Jr.
06/15/2013
ssues ranging from a proposed downtown hotel to a Wal-Mart on the Golden Mile were informally discussed Friday by Frederick's mayor and aldermen at a meeting with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. "If the same plan came in without the Wal-Mart name, people would support it," said Alderwoman Shelley Aloi of a proposal to put the big-box store at the former Frederick Towne Mall site on the west side of the city. "It is not our decision to say who goes into a property, it is up to the property owner and the market," Aloi said. "Is the best use for the property residential? No. There is already dense residential use in that area." Alderman Michael O'Connor and others moved to dispel the notion that all businesses on the Golden Mile stretch of U.S. 40 are hurting."Just go out there and see the traffic and the businesses," O'Connor said.

Young Heavy Handed with City Alderman over Proposed Citizens/Montevue Sale

Frederick Politics
George Wenschhof
06/13/2013
The proposed sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living, already beset with legal questions surrounding deed restrictions on a sale, has now entered a new contentious stage. In a strongly worded official letter, dated June 11, 2013, Frederick Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young (R), used strong language when addressing the members of The City of Frederick board of aldermen, who oppose the sale of the Citizens/Montevue complex.

Develop-Mental: GIMCRACK MILE?

Frederick Gorilla
Matt Edens
06/10/2013
The big box is out of the bag. Matt Edens questions the merit of transforming Frederick Towne Mall into a “power center.” The big box is out of the bag. After months of rumors, the owners of Frederick Towne Mall have finally ’fessed up: They want to build a Walmart. Whether the city’s Board of Aldermen will overrule the recommendations of the planning commission and grant the mall’s owners the zoning change they need to build the big box, I don’t know. But I personally think it would be a damn shame.

Opposes Wal-Mart based on business practices

Frederick News Post
Sandy Doggett
06/10/2013
I am against another Wal-Mart in Frederick because the company has a history of shoddy practices. There are so many hidden costs to taxpayers to make their low prices possible. Wal-Mart is one of the biggest recipients of corporate welfare in the U.S. Due to low wages , many of their employees are forced to sign up for food stamps (SNAP), housing assistance, earned income tax credits and Medicaid or SCHIP for their children’s health. U.S. taxpayers are forced to support Wal-Mart workers. Their wages are so low that they can’t support their families with a living or just wage. I have a few questions for you to consider. Do you want a company that...

Boom in multifamily housing moving to Frederick

But is there a bust on the way?
Gazette
Sonny Goldreich
06/07/2013
Multifamily vacancy rates in Frederick County stand at about 2.3 percent today, falling by more than half since the 4.9-percent rate in 2010, he noted in a blog posted last week. During the same period, apartment rental rates in the county have increased almost 6 percent since 2010. There are 6,061 units currently in the county pipeline, with 4,069 units in the city of Frederick alone. This is a slow-moving construction boom that could take until 2030 to be completed, but developers see value in building apartments that they don’t see in other sectors of commercial real estate, Mackintosh said

Wal-Mart plan for Frederick Towne Mall moves forward

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
06/06/2013
A redevelopment plan that includes pedestrian paths, gardens, interconnected shopping centers and a Wal-Mart at the site of the Golden Mile's Frederick Towne Mall is a step closer to reality. The property's owner said Wednesday at the board's workshop that the city will have to rezone the site at 1301 W. Patrick St. to general commercial zoning if it wants to see that redevelopment plan — or anything better — start at the vacant mall. The Board of Aldermen found more tweaks they would like to see to the proposal, all in an effort, they said, to get closer to their ideal vision for the area's redevelopment.

Big stick for blight

Frederick News Post
05/31/2013
Frederick’s lawmakers are moving forward conservatively with legislation that would allow the city to go to court and appoint receivers to handle properties that are a hazard to public health, welfare and safety. The receivership program, which the mayor and aldermen began discussing Wednesday, will perhaps be the biggest stick among a suite of proposals under consideration to encourage or force property owners to rehabilitate ramshackle buildings.

Frederick residents spar over plan to build new Walmart on Golden Mile

About 150 attend meeting at empty mall to hear developers
Gazette
Tripp Laino
05/10/2013
The Frederick Planning Commission recommended at a March meeting that the aldermen reject the zoning change. It’s the third time the plans have been presented publicly, with vocal opponents and proponents of the plan to replace the nearly empty Frederick Towne Mall sparring at previous meetings, and online on social media sites. An online petition drive on the website Change.org has nearly 1,500 signatures, with residents urging the aldermen not to approve the zoning change.

Frederick Zoning Board of Appeals member files to run for alderman

Dacey: ‘I want to see the right kind of growth when it comes to Frederick’
Gazette
Tripp Laino
05/09/2013
Frederick Zoning Board of Appeals member Philip Dacey has joined the expanding list of candidates vying for a spot on Frederick’s Board of Aldermen. Dacey, 34, a Republican, said he grew up in Frederick, graduating from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in 1996. He is currently director of external affairs at the Motor Vehicle Administration, and is formerly a lawyer. He said his primary reason for running for the board was concern over the city’s growth, and making sure that the city grows responsibly.

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.

Walmart will only further tarnish the ‘Golden Mile

Gazette
George Wenschhof
05/02/2013
If anything, hard work needs to be continued to ensure efforts made to revitalize the once vibrant Golden Mile is well researched with the entire community in mind and an eye to the future.

Political blogger runs for Frederick Board of Aldermen

Jack Lynch, 53, is one of four Democrats to file for race for five open seats
Gazette
Tripp Laino
04/23/2013
A political commentator has decided to put his words into action, joining three other Democrats and four Republicans who have filed thus far to run for five seats on the Frederick Board of Aldermen. Jack D. Lynch II, 53, who said he has lived in Frederick for about 13 years, has been writing political commentary on his website, www.FrederickCitizen.com, for about a dozen of those years. He said it was time to move from commenting about the issues to being active politically.

Bank credit manager runs for Frederick alderman

Gazette
Tripp Laino
04/22/2013
Republican candidate Daniel Cowell has joined the growing list of candidates vying for one of five open seats on the Frederick Board of Aldermen. Cowell, 37, said he was born and raised in Frederick County, having graduated from Middletown High School in 1994, and has been a resident of the city since 2000. A credit manager for JP Morgan Chase in Towson, Cowell said his financial background is one of the reasons he opted to run for office.

County split of Citizens, Montevue land approved

Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
04/09/2013
Frederick County could now move forward with a sale of its assisted living and rehabilitation centers after approval Monday night of its request to subdivide the land where it sits. The city of Frederick's Planning Commission voted to approve a request made by the county that allows splitting the 41 acres into two parcels — one with the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Facility, and the other with the remaining buildings to be used for county office space and storage. “These are very difficult decisions, and we have to act in the boundaries of the law,” said Alderwoman Kelly Russell, a voting member on the planning commission. “Sometimes you don't have the tools you need to make certain decisions.” Despite public outcry, including about a dozen residents speaking out against dividing the land and a packed meeting room, planning commission members said they had no choice but to approve the county's request.

Frederick aldermen press developer on school overcrowding

Questioning gets heated over annexation that would add 300 homes to the city
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
03/31/2013
A plan to build 300 homes on nearly 49 acres of annexed farmland ran into tough questioning Wednesday from the Frederick Board of Aldermen which raised concerns about who would pay for possible school overcrowding. The developer, Christopher’s Crossing LLC, is asking the five aldermen for permission to build no more than 300 single-family homes and townhouses on land known as the Bargtis/Lasick-Rallas properties, located near Walter Martz and Christopher’s Crossing roads, west of U.S. 15. If the annexation is approved, construction would start in 2015. Developers first unveiled their plans to the mayor and aldermen at a Feb. 27 workshop, and were asked to come back for further discussions on the development’s impact on schools and roads in the area.

A Tale of Two Walmarts

The Frederick Citizen
Jack Lynch
03/27/2013
The era of the big box store has presented a conundrum for many places planning, the consumer convenience and pricing have driven a wild success in repeating these retail locations across the country, and they grow increasingly larger in size and offerings, and in recent years have driven down the commercial success and increased competition with retail grocery chains which typical operate on already thin margins. This situation presents itself in Frederick along Route 26 on the north side of the city.