City reaches settlement, acquires land for park

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Source: Frederick News Post
Author: Adam Behsudi
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Date Published: 02/05/2009

The City of Frederick on Wednesday finalized its condemnation and seizure of 148 acres for a regional park. The $18 million settlement will prevent the city and the landowner, Pleasants Development, from going to trial in March. The Clarksburg company had planned to build 640 residential units and retail space on the acreage along Butterfly Lane. Portions of the project had already received planning commission approval, and crews had started grading the land. “As a property owner, we’re not happy to lose our property,” said Jerry Connelly, the company’s senior vice president. A trial in Frederick County Circuit Court would have determined the value of the land. An argument against the city’s right to condemn the property was dismissed in March 2008. “The trial is not about whether the city could take the property, it’s about value,” Connelly said. “When you look at a subdivision that will take eight to 10 years to develop, who’s deciding the value of the future?”