High Court Upholds Decision Vacating Monrovia Town Center Approvals

It went along with the Circuit Court decision of nearly two years ago.



Frederick, Md (KM) A Frederick County Circuit Court ruling vacating the approval of the massive Monrovia Town Center Project has been upheld. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has affirmed the decision nearly two years ago tossing out the approvals granted by the last Board of County Commissioners, and requiring the applicants to start the process all over again.

The Circuit Court  Ruling by Judge William Nicklas voided the approvals granted in 2014 by the last Board of County Commissioners which approved the project that called for 1250 new homes on 392-acres near the intersection of Routes 75, and 80.

During the public hearing process, the Commissioners introduced a letter purportedly from the Frederick Area Committee on Transportation supporting the process. But the letter was submitted by former Commissioner Paul Smith on the final night of hearings after public comment had been completed. Opponents of the project say they didn’t have time to read the letter, and to make comments and ask questions.

A citizens group called Residents Against Landsdale Expansion sued the county, saying the process was “tainted” by the introduction of this letter just after public testimony had been completed.

Judge Nicklas agreed with the plaintiffs, and ordered that the approvals granted to the project be vacated, and that the applicants must start the approval process all over again. The developers appealed the decision.

“I am pleased with the outcome of this case,” said County Executive Jan Gardner, in a statement. “By upholding the local Circuit Court decision, the judges restored faith in the requirement of a good and fair public process for land use decisions in Frederick County.”

Opponents of the project contend that the roads in that area are not adequate to handle the increased traffic these 1250 homes would generate, and the state has no plans to widen Route 75.



By Kevin McManus