MTC Case Goes Back To Court May 9th

RALE says discussion then will be mostly about procedure & scheduling.


Frederick, Md (KM). The Monrovia Town Center project is heading to court: again. On May 9th, the Frederick County Circuit Court will determining schedule and procedures in how to deal with this massive development. But Steve McKay, President of Residents Against Landsdale Expansion, says this case involves a lot of issues connected with the Monrovia Town Center project.

In March, 2015, Circuit Court Judge Bill Nicklas remanded the case back to the County Council due to concerns about the record. “The Council held hearings, studied it for a while, and ultimately came to the same conclusion as Circuit Court Judge Nicklas in that they were not able to resolve certain issues with respect to the record,” he said.

Last month, the County Council voted to send the issue back to the Circuit Court.

The project,  which consists of 1250 new homes in  the area of Routes 75 and 80,  was approved by the County Commissioners in April, 2014. During the hearings, a letter purportedly from the Frederick Area Committee on Transportation was produced by former Commissioner Paul Smith. It said that FACT found that road improvements promised by the developers, 75-80 Properties and Payne Investments LLC, were adequate to address transportation problems in the area. Opponents of the project say the roads cannot handled the increased traffic.

But the letter was not reviewed and approved by the FACT board, which cast  a pall over it.

“As a result of the FACT letter, the judge said the record was tainted.that there were these issues that need to be resolved. They’ve not been resolved,” says McKay.

He says when the Judge ordered the case be returned to the County Council, he did not vacate the decision by the County Commissioners, and neither has the Council. “They {the Council} just did not resolve the issues specified in the remand order. And instead of doing that, they decided that there were too many issues, too many uncertainties with the record so we’re going to resolve it by starting it over again,” says McKay.

He says the Court will have many options when it looks into this case. “The judge may choose to seek the resolve the issues in the courtroom, and that’s going to be a messy process,” says McKay. “Or the judge may just decide ‘you know what: those issues are still not resolved to my satisfaction so we’re going to nullify and vacate those former approvals, and force you to start over again.'”

Even though the court hearing will be about scheduling and procedure and no public comment will be received, McKay says it should be “an interesting proceeding.”


By Kevin McManus