No Discussion About Climate Change In ‘Livable Frederick’ Draft Master Plan

The word was taken out of the document recently by the Planning Commission.


Frederick, Md (KM) The very contentious issue of climate change was brought up during Tuesday’s Frederick County Council meeting. Those two words were recently removed from the proposed Livable Frederick draft master plan by the County Planning Commission.

Councilman Kai Hagen said there is discussion of greenhouse gases in the plan, but not climate change. “In the vision statement for the environment, it doesn’t even use the words ‘climate change,'” he said.

Principal Planner John Dimitriou said the Planning Commission removed those words form the document because of the sensitive nature of this issue.. “It kind of avoided creating inflammatory situations,” he said. “I think it was very diplomatic approach that the Planning Commission took.”

Steve Horn, the County’s Planning and Permitting Division Director, agreed. “They’re {Planning Commission members}  sensitive to this. I think they’re sensitive to the phrase. They have a lot of sensitivity about what the plan says. They were very deliberate about what they’ve included,” he said.

The conservation about climate change came up as the Planning Staff was briefing the Council on the proposed Livable Frederick master plan.

A few citizens took issue with the lack of any discussion on climate change in the Livable Frederick draft master plan. Karen Russell, who was a member of the Climate Change Working Group, said climate change is not a hoax. “But the fact is the climate is changing. The science is definitive. We have been experiencing it already,” she says.

Russell said the county needs to take climate change into consideration as it plans for the future. “The temperature is changing. What we grow is going to have to change. We have wildlife that exists in this county that are going to need to migrate, and we will need to figure out how to make that happen, or risk losing them, things like pollinators,” she says.

And Monica Green of Frederick also climate change is real. “Climate change affects water with floods and droughts, wildlife and Eco-systems, agriculture and human health, ” she said.

The County’s Planning Staff said after the Planning Commission votes on the plan, it will come before the Council, which can make its own changes.


By Kevin McManus