YMCA Must Go To Frederick County Executive To Change Covenants On Its Urbana Property

The Council approved that statement during its Tuesday meeting.                                                                               


Frederick, Md (KM) No formal vote was taken Tuesday, but the Frederick County Council agreed on a statement regarding the YMCA’s desire to change the covenants on its  20-acre property in Urbana.

The property was zoned general commercial in 2010 with an institutional land use designation. According background from the County Executive’s Office, the YMCA agreed to construct a facility to provide programs and service to residents in Urbana. But under the covenants placed on the property, no other development could take place on the parcel with the exception of either a dance or music studio. Residents at the time were worried about other commercial development taking place on the property.

The parcel in question is located between Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School.

Since that zoning, the YMCA has developed site plan which includes a  40,000-square-foot professional offices and medical clinic. It was approved by the Planning Commission in 2019. During that time, the land covenants were not considered, according to background from the County Executive’s Office.

The YMCA is negotiating with Frederick Health Hospital to develop a community campus for health and wellness services.

“Frederick Health Hospital has expressed interest in purchasing a portion of the Y’s property in order to build a medical building. The Y actually needs them to do this in order to fully finance the building of their facility the way they’ve envisioned it,” said  County Council President MC Keegan-Ayer during Tuesday meeting.

“However, it would appear that this medical office building would be in conflict in that the  terms of the covenant that still remain on the property,” Keegan-Ayer continues. “The YMCA is proposing changing those covenants in order to allow the sale the property to Frederick Health Hospital to go forward.”

But Keegan-Ayer and the Council agreed that the Y needs to approach the County Executive about changing these covenants. Then these changes can come back to the Council for a vote.

“The ball really rests now with the YMCA,” says Keegan-Ayer. “It is up to their leadership to begin discussions with the County Executive to address the issue of the MOU, and any potential changes in these covenants.”

A MOU is a memorandum of understanding which would spell out any  changes in the covenants, and what they might be, says Keegan-Ayer. “Only after these items have been agreed, does any role or responsibility of the Council come into play,” she said.

The statement was worked out by the Council with assistance from the County’s legal staff which was done during a closed-door meeting.


By Kevin McManus