What’s happening with the Global Mission “Mega” Church?

It was way back in 2009 when the Montgomery Countryside Alliance and other stakeholders became aware of the fast tracked proposal to construct a massive institutional facility in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain.

sugarloaf-in-fog_500w

The mega-complex — a tall and sprawling 138,000 sq. ft. building that would straddle Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve and Frederick County’s agricultural zone — was well on its way to approval in Frederick County when we became involved and began to raise questions about how this development would affect groundwater and local streams, historic resources, agricultural lands and forest.

With our partners at Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association, staff at Montgomery County Park and Planning, members of the State Delegation and County Council members, we sought answers and meetings with Global Mission Church representatives.

More history:

Circuit Court Challenge and Media Coverage

Five Things the Same Size as the Mega Church

Mega Effort

Now, five years later…

There has been a variety of twists and turns, including a revised site plan proposal with a modest downsizing to 118,000 square feet, and zoning changes and plan approvals by Frederick County.

MCA-Web-Pics-Hilary-S_260wThe Montgomery Countryside Alliance, Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association and adjacent neighbors have invested significant resources in litigation efforts aimed at ensuring that any project built on the site adhere to the longstanding preservation goals of both counties.

A suit filed to challenge the required secondary access road which violates a homeowner covenant was successful. As expected, Global Mission has appealed the ruling, and oral arguments in that case will take place in the Court of Special Appeals soon (on December 10, 2014).

Our suit — SCA and MCA v. Global Mission –- challenging the dismissal by the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals of our challenge to the site plan approval has been briefed. Oral arguments in that case will take place at the Court of Special Appeals on December 5, 2014.

Stay tuned.


MCA

Montgomery Countryside Alliance on the web

Montgomery Countryside Alliance on Facebook

Montgomery Countryside Alliance on Twitter

langstaff-porch-view-cvt-500w