Officials still lean toward incinerator

Thompson, Jenkins say recent presentations on alternatives for waste don’t sway their positions
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
07/24/2008
Despite a power-point presentation, a 45-minute film and testimony praising the recycling programs in Boulder, Colo., two Frederick County commissioners said this week they are still not convinced that building an incinerator to dispose of trash is wrong for Frederick County. Commissioners Charles A. Jenkins (R) and John ‘‘Lennie” Thompson Jr. (R) said this week they are still leaning toward voting to build an incinerator in Frederick County, or what some call a ‘‘waste-to-energy” facility, because it burns trash to produce electricity.

Senior developments face restrictions or impact studies

Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
06/20/2008
Housing for older people in Frederick County may either face a school capacity study or be restricted entirely to those 62 and older, according to proposed ordinances before the Frederick County Commissioners. The commissioners will have a public hearing on the two ordinances, which are mutually exclusive, next week. The ordinances are aimed at reducing the possibility that older-adult communities could add to the school population. There may be legal roadblocks to passing the ordinance requiring all residents of age-restricted developments be 62 and older. "There is very little case law," Kathy Mitchell, assistant county attorney, said at a public workshop session Thursday. She told the commissioners that such an ordinance could bring about legal challenges. Most age-restricted housing developments in the U.S., including those already in existence in Frederick County, require that 80 percent of households have at least one resident 55 or older. Courts have determined that these developments for older residents are not discriminatory. Those types of developments may still attract residents who have school-age children. The proposed ordinance would apply to all residents in a 62-and-older community, not just one person per household.

County rejects bypass proposals for New Market

Gazette
Chris Brown
01/31/2008
The Frederick Board of County Commissioners on Monday removed from plans several proposed roads that would bypass the Town of New Market, citing the lack of money. Commissioner John ''Lennie" Thompson Jr. (R) was the most stringent critic of the proposed roads, saying that without money, the roads were nothing more than ''words or lines on a map," and were not enough to build a bypass. The plan for a northern bypass from Boyers Mill Road and Summerfield was removed by a 3-2 vote. Thompson said that this would not prevent the construction of a bypass at some point, but there would need to be money first. "There's no money, there's not going to be a bypass," Thompson said.

Decision on trash to come next year

Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
12/06/2007
Frederick County commissioners said Tuesday that before their terms end in 2010, they will make a decision about whether the county should build a trash incinerator."Absolutely it will be made in my term," Commissioner David P. Gray (R) said during a press conference Tuesday. Gray became convinced that the answer to the county's trash problems is an incinerator, after he spent a week in Europe touring incinerator plants in seven countries. On Tuesday, commissioners outlined their accomplishments during the last year, along with the issues they plan to tackle in 2008. Deciding whether to build a trash incinerator is high on their list.

Gardner announces run for third term on board

Former Commission President David Gray to announce his bid Monday
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
06/29/2006
The questions, assumptions and predictions are over — Commissioner Jan H. Gardner (D) announced Wednesday she will run for re-election. Standing on the steps of Winchester Hall with her husband, Gardner, 49, thrilled the crowd when she announced her intentions. "...I am hopeful the electorate will create a bit of change, will choose a board of commissioners that will be kinder and gentler, a board that will be more responsive to citizen input and the desires of the community,” Gardner said. ‘‘I believe the community needs experienced leadership, caring leadership, a voice of reason, balance, progressive thinking. I think we need to empower people to do good things. So I have decided to run for re-election.”

Reactions mixed on revised plan for growth

Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
06/28/2007
No issue has elicited as much controversy in Frederick County in recent years as the New Market Region Plan. The Frederick County Division of Planning unveiled a revised plan for the first time to residents and property owners at an open house June 21 at Oakdale Middle School in Ijamsville. Due to the new plan, 12,200 homes that were slated for the New Market area have been reduced to 5,400, said Tim Goodfellow, project planner with the planning division. The reduction has left some unhappy property owners who were hoping to make a profit off their land.

Housing development still faces many hurdles

Frederick News Post
Pamela Rigaux
08/08/2006
Urbana developer Natelli Communities has received approval from the county commissioners to build up to 500 homes on 181.42 acres just north of Urbana on Md. 355. The commissioners voted last week to allow the tract between the community park and Park Mills Road, previously designated an employment corridor, to be developed with new dwellings -- condos, townhomes, apartments and senior housing. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner John L. Thompson the sole dissenter. "The rezoning will worsen school overcrowding," Mr. Thompson said in an interview later. "Frederick County's going to be a laughingstock, when people in the state look at research parks and there's nothing but garden apartments." Erik Soter, the county's assistant planning director, predicted it would be two years before Natelli breaks ground and an additional four or five to complete the project because of all the government approvals the developer will need. One approval may be particularly hard to come by, he said. The county mandates that new homes must not generate more students than the local schools can accommodate, and Urbana High School is filled.

County approves senior development

Frederick News Post
Liam Farrell
04/13/2006
The graying baby boomers in Frederick County are getting another community just for them. On Tuesday night, the Frederick Board of County Commissioners approved a change in zoning to allow construction of the Monrovia Town Center, an age-restricted development of more than 1,600 units south of Monrovia. About 50 acres of the area, near Urbana, will be donated for public use and will eventually house a fire and emergency medical service substation and a Frederick County Sheriff's Office substation.The developer, 75-80 Properties L.L.C., will also put $10,000 for each market value unit, or about $14 million, toward improving neighboring roads such as Md. 75. Any new development of 25 or more dwelling units must make at least 12 percent of its units affordable for middle-income residents.

Waste-to-energy on agenda

Frederick News Post
Liam Farrell
02/17/2006
The day trash from Frederick County residents powers their houses is still years away, but county commissioners are investigating that possibility. The board unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to begin formulating a strategy on creating a facility that would generate power from recycling solid waste. The resolution was a formal declaration of the county's interest in pursuing a waste-to-energy option. "It's a little bit different than what we've looked at before," Commissioner Jan Gardner said. "It is, I believe, kind of the ultimate in recycling." Commissioner John Lovell Jr. has a similar opinion about turning waste into energy. "It's certainly what I consider to be the long-term solution we've been looking for," he said. R.W. Beck and Associates completed a study of Frederick's potential for such a facility in October 2005. According to that study, which considered the planning period from 2011- 2031, building its own waste-to-energy facility could be as cost-effective for the county as shipping waste to a regional facility. Now that the county has acknowledged formal interest, it will be able to consider serious proposals from waste to energy providers.

County races mostly funded by developers

Frederick News Post
Sean Barry
10/30/2002
Companies involved in land development, along with their owners and employees, have poured more money into the Frederick County Commissioners election contest than all other contributors combined, according to a review of the final pre-election campaign finance reports. The real estate and building industries, generally unhappy with the two incumbents who are running for re-election, have supplied about $40,000 for a group endorsing several challengers and largely bankrolled some individual campaigns as well, the reports show.