It’s expected to be back before the County Council.
Frederick, Md (KM). It’s back to the drawing board for a bill that would make changes to Frederick County’s ordinance covering mixed use zoning. The legislation, which would allow warehouses, and wholesale and distribution centers in areas zoned mixed use was pulled on Wednesday. It was scheduled to be voted on during a County Council meeting that day. Currently, MXD zoning allows residential, commercial and offices.
The measure ran into opposition from residents in the Jefferson Technology Park. They felt these businesses, with their 24-hour operations and truck traffic coming in and our at all hours, would be located too close to their homes. The Council added an amendment to allow these operations a mile from limited industrial areas, and they not share a common driveway with schools. That ran into trouble from developers.
But some Council members say they could support this type of bill with some changes. “I think this is an idea that needs to be pursued further,” said Council Vice President MC Keegan-Ayer. “And I would like to have staff presentation as well as the interested parties who :were impacted or possibly could have been impacted by this bill.” She says she is drafting a generic bill on MXD’s
“I’m happy to work with any of my colleagues up here that maybe wanting to take a second look at another option for that, whether it’s for that particular bill or just starting from scratch, looking at those uses,”said Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater. “I’m happy to also to work with any staff or members of the community interested in working on that.”
“Well, it’s going to be good getting help on the MXD bill,” commented Council President Bud Otis, who sponsored the bill. “I’m glad to see that everyone is wiling to sit down and talk about it. I will be bringing one back, and I appreciate you’re willing to be a part of that program.”
Otis said he was worried that the county could lose a company interested in locating a warehouse in the Jefferson Tech Park which could bring in more than 2,000 jobs. “My biggest concern is that we don’t lose that opportunity for the jobs,” he said.
When the legislation comes back, it will need to go through the hearing process once again before the Council, which will take a vote. Under the County Charter, after a bill is introduced, it must be approved or voted down within 90 days, or it expires.
By Kevin McManus