It concerns lawsuits & a supplemental application.
Opponents of the Monrovia Town Center project proposed for an area south of New Market are watching and waiting. That’s according to Steve McKay, the President of Residents Against Landsdale Expansion.
The developer of the massive housing project, 75-80 Properties, is suing RALE, the County Council, the County Planning Commission and others, claiming they have held up development of the Monrovia Town Center, costing them $500,000. McKay says RALE members received materials in the mail earlier in May, but no summons connected with the suit. “Although we all received a copy of the suit in the mail, none of us have actually been served the suit, including the county to my knowledge. A week after we all received it, we saw that they filed a motion in Circuit Court–again, this is about two months ago–for a motion for summons, but they’ve never served the summons,” he says.
“And without actually serving the summons, we’ve not actually been sued,” McKay adds.
The filings request an extension of summons for about two dozen parties the developer claims should be held responsible for delaying the project..
In 2014, the last Board of County Commissioners approved the project. The developer plans to construct 1,250 new homes on 392-acres at the intersection of Routes 75 and 80. Opponents of the development claim the record was tainted by a letter in support of the project, purportedly from the Frederick Area Committee for Transportation. In 2015, a Circuit Court Judge remanded the case back to the County Council. The panel voted to require the applicant start the rezoning process all over again.
“They’re still trying to keep the suit out there in holding it er our heads as a not very veiled threat,” says McKay. “But again, they haven’t actually served the suit to anybody. It’s a very odd situation. If there’s some strategy that they’re following, it’s kind of confusing to me. Maybe there’s a little confused themselves.”
Another issue connected with the project concerns a hearing scheduled before the Planning Commission last month that was canceled. The applicant said it was going to amend the application. “They said all this in the spirit of settling of the lawsuit that they themselves launched,” says McKay.
He says RALE is anxious to see what the developer will bring forward. “Do they ask for fewer homes? They ask for more homes? Do they ask more or less age-restricted home? We have no idea,” says McKay.
“I fully expect there’s still going to be a substantial number of homes there, and I fully expect that it’s still going to be a substantial issue in respect to the impact of Maryland 75 as well as the other local roads,” he says.
Opponents of the project have argued that Route 75 and other roads in that area cannot handle the increased traffic this development will bring about.