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 panel rejects zoning change for Golden Mile mall

Planners oppose allowing big-box store, prefer keeping residential element
Gazette
Tripp Laino
03/12/2013
Denying a request from the developer of the Frederick Towne Mall, the Frederick Planning Commission has left unchanged the zoning for the linchpin to the long-awaited revitalization of the Golden Mile. The current mixed-use zoning designation requires the development of both commercial and residential use, and prohibits the building of warehouse stores and super centers. The mall sits at the far end of the Golden Mile, which stretches along U.S. Route 40 between U.S. 15 and Interstate 70 and is one of the first places visitors encounter when entering the stretch from I-70. The mayor and Frederick Board of Aldermen have final approval of any zoning change, but consider recommendations from the commission.

Frederick lawmaker’s bill would limit challenges to developer pacts

Opponents couldn’t take cases to appeals board under Clagett’s proposal
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
02/05/2013
A state delegate wants to make it more difficult to undo binding agreements between developers and the Frederick Board of County Commissioners to build hundreds of new homes and businesses. Del. Galen R. Clagett (D-Dist. 3A) of Frederick has introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that would prevent opponents from asking the five-member Frederick County Board of Appeals to overturn what are known as a Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreements, signed between the commissioners and a builder.

Frederick County opens door to another 970 new homes

Commissioners proceed on developer pact for 197-acre Ballenger Run site
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
02/01/2013
The Frederick County Board of Commissioners made a decision Thursday to enter into its seventh agreement with developers to build more homes in the county, this time off Ballenger Creek Pike in Frederick. RBG Family LLC, the developers of the proposed Ballenger Run Planned Unit Development, want to build on 197.24 acres of property on the east side of Ballenger Creek Pike, across from Tuscarora High School in Frederick. The proposed Ballenger Run development is currently zoned for people 55 and older, but the developers want to change that and build homes for people of all ages. The property is zoned to build 970 age-restricted housing units, which would include 340 single-family homes, 150 townhouses, and 480 condominiums or apartments. The developers also want to build a 200-unit assisted-living facility on the site.

Frederick County commissioners likely to leave behind plans for massive development

Young seeks 25 new developer agreements by end of commissioners' term
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
11/01/2012
When the Frederick Board of County Commissioners' term ends in 2014, it will likely leave behind plans for hundreds of new homes and businesses that can't be changed.

Frederick County commissioners approve the rezoning of 8, 824 acres of land

New comprehensive plan opens door to construction of 12, 600 homes
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
09/13/2012
Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young celebrated his 41st birthday today by voting to approve a plan to rezone 8,824 acres of county farmland that could lead to the construction of 12,688 new homes.

Conflicting Opinions Offered at BOCC Land-Use Hearing

Urbana Town Courier
Kristy Crawford
08/23/2012
The Frederick County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is working quickly to revise the 2010 Comprehensive Plan, which restricted the right to build in some areas throughout Frederick County. On July 31, approximately 75 people attended a meeting at Oakdale High School before the BOCC and the Frederick County Planning Commission, to express often strong opinions on the BOCC’s proposal. Close to 9,000 acres of land throughout Frederick County — largely from Urbana to New Market — and more than 12,000 homes could potentially be developed with the revised plan. The revised plan estimates a population increase of more than 20 percent in the next 10 years.

State rejects parts of Frederick County water, sewer plan

Young blames politics, not growth plan inconsistencies for decision
Gazette
07/26/2012
Frederick County Board of Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) is blaming politics instead of state law for Maryland’s recent rejection of portions of the county’s 2011 water and sewer plan because planners found it inconsistent with the area’s own growth plan. The plan includes revisions that extend water and sewer service to properties outside the county’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan, a blueprint for growth updated every 10 years. The county is in the process of changing its growth plan to allow more development. The Maryland Department of Planning, which reviewed the Maryland Department of the Environment’s evaluation of the county’s water and sewer plan, said in a May 31 letter to MDE that while some of the plan’s revisions “strengthen the relationship” between the county’s growth and water and sewer plans, other revisions are inconsistent.

Frederick County officials to hold public hearing on rezoning 8, 824 acres of farmland

Commissioners have given preliminary approval to proposal
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
07/25/2012
A proposal to rezone 8,824 acres of farmland in Frederick County could lead to the construction of 12,688 homes, a majority of which would be built in the Monrovia, New Market and Urbana areas.

County officials beginning growth plans with Brunswick

Frederick News Post
Nicholas C. Stern
07/12/2012
County officials interested in aligning the county's growth plans with changes to municipal master plans will begin the process with Brunswick. In a public hearing today, county commissioners will discuss updating the county's principal planning document to coincide with Brunswick's stated planning goals over the next two decades and beyond. That alignment would be dubbed the 2012 Brunswick Community Plan Amendment. Adopted by the Brunswick mayor and council in November, the city's plan reflects projected growth of about 500 acres, according to Bruce Dell, Brunswick's planning and zoning administrator. About 75 percent of the growth is planned for the east side of the city, with the remainder to the west.

Group wants growth costs calculated

Leader estimates county could see 50,000 new residential units by 2032
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
07/12/2012
The leader of a local anti-sprawl group wants the state to calculate the impact Frederick County's proposed land-use plan will have on taxpayers. In a letter to the Maryland Department of Planning, Friends of Frederick County Executive Director Janice Wiles wrote that it would be wise to figure out how much growth will cost if it gets approved

An ear to the ground on Frederick land use decisions

Gazette
Danielle Elaine Manos
06/21/2012
How can Commissioner Blaine Young expect to run for governor when the state is already concerned with how he runs our county? A recent letter from the Maryland Department of Planning to our county commissioners is very telling ( “State again condemns county's land-use plan,” June 1), as they are concerned that our board of commissioners did not give the public enough time to form an opinion over their new rezoning plan, which could have a monumental impact on our wallets, our landscape, our schools and more. I cannot say if I am for or against this new plan, but by the time the public learns of its impacts it will be too late. If Commissioner Young does not allow constituents within his own county to adequately participate in decision-making, how can we expect him to run Maryland with the state’s best interest in mind?”

Frederick County growth plans criticized

Young: State’s stance is political, former commissioner involved
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
06/04/2012
A letter sent this past week from the Maryland Department of Planning, marks the second time the agency has criticized the commissioners’ plans to give 163 property owners permission to build homes and businesses on what now is open space.

State again condemns county’s land-use plan

Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
05/01/2012
The state continues to disagree with Frederick County's decision to push forward with its land-use review, according to a letter from the Maryland Department of Planning. In the letter received by the county Thursday, a state planning official expresses concern that the county did not give the public enough time to respond to proposed changes to the comprehensive plan and zoning review

State again condemns county's land-use plan

Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
05/01/2012
The state continues to disagree with Frederick County's decision to push forward with its land-use review, according to a letter from the Maryland Department of Planning. In the letter received by the county Thursday, a state planning official expresses concern that the county did not give the public enough time to respond to proposed changes to the comprehensive plan and zoning review

Frederick County commissioners plan to make growth decisions permanent

Young expects the board to approve more development
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
04/26/2012
Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) hopes to approve new housing and businesses in the county, while preventing future boards from overturning those decisions — even if conditions change. Young said this week several developers already have inquired about the agreement, provisionally granted to a development last week that could bring 1,100 homes to the southern part of the county. The agreements with developers — being used for the first time in the county — mark a reversal from the previous board of commissioners, which sought to limit growth by restricting land zoned for 700 properties from commercial, residential or industrial to agricultural or open space.

Frederick County commissioners plan to make growth decisions permanent

Young expects the board to approve more development
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
04/26/2012
Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) hopes to approve new housing and businesses in the county, while preventing future boards from overturning those decisions — even if conditions change.

Urbana could expand by 600 homes

Proposal requires a zoning change
Gazette
Ryan Marshall
04/18/2012
Urbana could add about 600 homes, as well as office space and retail stores, to one of the fastest growing parts of Frederick County. The plan would expand the community into a tract of land between Md. 355 and Interstate 270, according to Thomas Natelli, CEO of Natelli Communities, which developed Urbana.

Frederick County: Commissioners cast the first votes in rezone requests

Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
02/15/2012
A series of up-or-down votes by the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday was all it took to determine the direction of the ongoing comprehensive planning and zoning review. Applications that restored rights to owners whose property zoning was changed in the 2010 comprehensive plan were all preliminarily granted.

Frederick County property owners ask for return of development rights

Commissioners also hear from residents opposed to more development
Gazette
Sherry Greenfield
01/11/2012
Frederick County property owners finally had their opportunity Tuesday night to ask commissioners to restore development rights the previous board took away in 2010.