It’s now classified as general commercial with no conditions.
Frederick, Md (KM) The Board of Aldermen Thursday night rezoned the former Frederick Towne Mall property to general commercial without conditions. The previous zoning was general commercial with conditions.
Sandra Wastler, the President of the Golden Mile Alliance, testified in support of the rezoning. “The GMA is wholeheartedly behind this rezoning effort, rezoning it to general commercial without restrictions,” she said. “Because we think the Frederick Towne Mall is critical to the continued revitalization of the Golden Mile.”:
The 39.4-acre property was zoned general commercial with conditions in 2013 which was to have allowed Wal Mart to tear down the center of the former shopping mall, and put in a store. But the company backed out of that plan in 2016.
David Severn, an attorney for the owners, West Frederick Center LLP, says there was a mistake made in the zoning in 2013. He noted general commercial with conditions was approved in anticipation of Wal Mart coming in. But after the company decided not to construct a store at the former mall property, Severn said “there was no plan B,” and the zoning remained.
Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak voted against the rezoning to general commercial without conditions. “I believe that if we change this zoning by claiming a mistake it opens us up as a city for any property in the city to request and receive rezoning outside of the comprehensive plan,” she said.
But Alderman Derek Shackelford disagreed. “I wasn’t there is 2013 when the vote was taken. If a mistake was made, the mistake needs to be corrected. So that’s why I will support this measure tonight,” he said.
The vote was 4-1.
The owners of the former mall plan to turn the property into an entertainment center with go-karts, movie theaters, a video arcade, a bowling alley and a trampoline park. They’ve changed the name of the property to “District 40.”
Warehouse Cinemas has signed a lease and plans to move into the old mall in the summer.
In other action, the Aldermen approved a rezoning for the Frederick Community Action Agency from downtown commercial/residential to institutional, but keep the Historic Preservation Overlay. The vote was 3-2 with Alderman Roger Wilson and Alderwoman Kuzemchak casting “no” votes.
The Community Action Agency provides a number of programs including food and nutrition, outreach and transportation, health care, housing and weatherization, homeless assistance and energy assistance. It also operates a transitional shelter with 14 bedrooms with a total of 31 beds and cribs for homeless families, and physically or mentally disabled adults. The FCAA plans to covert the transitional shelter into permanent housing for adults who are chronically homeless.
By Kevin McManu