Dozens speak out on Monrovia Town Center

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Source: Frederick News Post
Author: Bethany Rodgers
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Date Published: 10/31/2013

Opponents of the proposed Monrovia Town Center were easy to spot at a public hearing Wednesday night — they were the ones wearing Snickers bars fastened to their shirts. The candy bars were a playful reference to a statement made last week by the developer’s attorney, who said the proposed 1,510-home development would be a walkable community where people wouldn’t need a car to go for a quart of milk or a Snickers. But speakers Wednesday said in their view, the town center is anything but a well-planned project. One Ijamsville resident said when he first moved to his neighborhood, a cloudless night would offer a crisp view of the Milky Way. Since then, light pollution from development in Urbana has obscured some of Wally Melnik’s night sky. “If the current Monrovia proposal is approved, I doubt that the Milky Way will be visible at all, one of the many great qualities of life of our rural community, destroyed by a few greedy individuals,” Melnik said. The hearing before the Frederick County Planning Commission was the second of three scheduled to allow public comment on the proposed development at the junction of Md. 75 and Md. 80. During a couple of hours of testimony, the speakers repeated many concerns voiced last week, when hundreds flooded Winchester Hall to weigh in on the development. Wednesday night’s hearing closed out testimony on the developers’ rezoning application. Jim Gugel, county planner, said there are 109 people signed up to comment on the second matter before the planning commission, a long-term agreement between town center developers and the county. Testimony on the drafted agreement is scheduled for Nov. 6.