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2012 BOCC Rezoning Night 4

2012 BOCC Rezoning Night 4

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Published by Valerie Dale
Excellent public comment by Janice Wiles (FoFC) given at last night's public hearing on the New Market Region of the 193 parcel piecemeal rezoning!
Excellent public comment by Janice Wiles (FoFC) given at last night's public hearing on the New Market Region of the 193 parcel piecemeal rezoning!

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Published by: Valerie Dale on Feb 01, 2012
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10/26/2013

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Response to Frederick County Commissioners Young, Gray, Smith, DeLauter andShreve, ref: the 2011 Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Review in their considerationof 193 rezoning applications
Date: January 31, 2012Due to a number of phone calls and emails from people wanting to know what ishappening with respect to the rezonings, I thought it helpful to provide a summary:
Between 2008 and 2010 the Frederick County planners and Planning Commission had over 100meetings, many workshops and expert testimonies on the development of the 20 yearComprehensive Plan for our future. The Gardner BOCC and planners:
considered thousands of Frederick County’s properties
looked at extensive study on the impact of development on the environment, roads, schoolsand other public facilities
determined what would best promote the public interest and general welfare of all residents inFrederick CountyThey prioritized development to infill and redevelopment, a sustainability measure that favors theeconomic development and social welfare and lessens the environmental impact on our naturalresources.That document plans for:
development of over 36,000 new homes, and sets aside land for commercial, industrial andretail growth, and it
designates implementation of corridor plans and transit oriented developmentWouldn’t it be great if the BOCC were spending their time focusing on redevelopment andJOBS along the 355/85 corridor? Jobs is what we want, not impoverishment of our county.The difference between the last BOCC and this one is the last one focused on making a greatfuture for 233,000 people; this BOCC focuses on making a future for 193 landowners theirfamilies, lawyers and developers – and damn the rest
4 E. Church Street, Frederick MD 21701 http://www.friendsoffrederickcounty.org 240529 16551
Preserving the unique character and quality of life in Frederick County,Maryland through public education, active civic engagement and government 
 
The current BOCC reopened the process for comprehensive rezoning and are consideringrezoning 193 properties for development, with total acreage over 15,000 – an area roughlyequivalent to 1/3 the size of Washington DC. That’s a huge loss of our nations’s most productivefarmland, and a huge windfall for developers on the backs of Frederick County taxpayers.In November 2011:
the Frederick County Planning Commission, citizens with over 30 collective years in countyplanning, and educated through a Maryland State planning program, voted to halt the rezoninghearings. They “felt the entire process was seriously flawed, totally unnecessary (no facts hadchanged substantially since the previous review), a waste of taxpayer money and potentiallyillegal (possibly a false cover for piecemeal zoning without a change in the character of theneighborhood or a mistake in zoning)” (FNP, 12/11/11)
the Maryland State Department of Planning wrote a letter to Mr. Eric Sotor, Director of ourcounty’s Community Development division. In that letter the state took issue with the flawedprocess.
citizens sued the county over the flawed process, and the fact that the Board of CountyCommissioners has no authority to rezone for the purpose of increasing the value of selectedpropertiesThe process to many is seen as one requested by the BOCC to fulfill campaign promises tocertain friends in the audience tonight (ie those representing parcels where there stands to be largefinancial gain).Let it be clear that there has been no change to warrant more houses or commercial growth aboveand beyond what is already in our 20-year plan. In fact there are two considerations that showeven greater absurdity to these proposals:
a study released by the Washington Area Council of Governments last Fall 2011 shows thatFrederick County residential projections are actually about 30% lower than they were whenwe were doing our comprehensive planning 2 years ago. That report says we will needbetween 20,000-27,000 homes, not over 36,000.
PlanMaryland, the recently passed state planning document, clarifies that support forinfrastructure will go to smart growth development, not sprawl.With that in mind, who will pay for the infrastructure demands that come with the proposeddevelopment?Where are the studies that show we can afford to widen roads to accommodate over 163,000more car trips/day, afford new schools to teach to nearly 9000 new students, afford enoughemergency service personnel and stations to accommodate over 17,000 new families, libraries,water and sewer, and all the amenities we require. Where are those studies?
4 E. Church Street, Frederick MD 21701 http://www.friendsoffrederickcounty.org 240529 16552

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