It says the County’s Ethics Statutes were violated.
Frederick, Md (KM) Maryland’s highest court has ruled in favor of Frederick County regarding the Monrovia Town Center project.
In its 50-page opinion, the Court of Appeals said the County Council was within its rights to demand a new hearing on the developers’ rezoning application, and supported a lower court’s decision that said the County’s Ethics Statute had been violated.
The developers have argued that they will not participate in a second hearing.
The massive project was approved by the last Board of County Commissioners in 2013. There was outrage among citizens of that area when then-Commissioners’ President Blaine Young introduced a letter at the end of the public hearing process, purportedly to be from Frederick Area Committee For Transportation, expressing support for the development. News reports at the time say the letter was drafted at the request of then-Commissioner Paul Smith. The FACT says its board never took a vote on it.
Residents in that area strongly opposed the project, claiming the road in the area could not handle the increased traffic,noting the State had no plans to widen Route 75. An organization had been formed called Residents Against Landsdale Expansion to fight the project.
In their ruling, the judges rejected the developers’ arguments about the 450-acre property near Routes 75 and 80. Plans were to build than 1200 new homes on the property. The land remains zoned for agriculture, and the Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreement and Letter of Understanding are null and void.
“This is a huge win for the people of Monrovia,” said County Executive Jan Gardner, in a statement. “The County joined with citizens to ensure good government and open, public process prevailed.”
By Kevin McManus