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.

Global Mission Church survives appeal; more legal challenges predicted

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
03/01/2013
The Sugarloaf Citizens Association Inc. and others tried unsuccessfully Thursday to block Global Mission Church's site plan for an 800-seat house of worship. The Frederick County Board of Appeals voted 4-1 to deny hearing the appeal filed by attorney Michele Rosenfeld on behalf of clients near the church site. She intended to make a case that the wrong zoning ordinance and faulty health department calculations were considered in November when the Frederick County Planning Commission approved the site plan for 78 acres at 25700 Old Hundred Road. After nearly two hours of discussion, a majority of the board of appeals concluded that it would not hear the appeal because it has no jurisdiction over septic decisions, which fall under state health department authority, and that Rosenfeld cited zoning law that did not apply to the case.

Korean megachurch wins further review of plans,

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
01/29/2010
Global Mission Church will have another chance at approval for its 138,000-square-foot building. The second part of the church's hearing Thursday before the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals explored whether the Frederick County Planning Commission treated the applicant fairly when it denied approval of its site plan. In October, the commission denied approval of the plan for the building containing a sanctuary with 1,160 seats. The congregation appealed the ruling, claiming the denial was based on erroneous conclusions about septic use and adequate emergency access. The first part of the appeal on Jan. 20 lasted nine hours, with several hours devoted to public testimony opposing the proposed church. The property is on agricultural land off I-270 in the southern part of the county north of the county line. The plan also calls for a dining hall that seats 500 and a three-story building with 67 classrooms. The planning commission based its decision to deny the site plan on estimates from the county health department the church might use more than the 5,000 gallons of septic capacity allowed. That was the main reason for denial, but the need for a secondary access route to the property was cited as a safety concern, Deputy County Attorney Wendy Kearney said.