Frederick County Council Approves Cromwell Property Rezoning

Developers plan to build 600 homes on the site for seniors.                                                                                     


Frederick, Md (KM) The way has been cleared for an age-restricted community near the Lake Linganore Area. In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the Frederick County Council approved the rezoning of 160-acres of the Cromwell property from agriculture to planned unit development. Plans are to construct 600 new homes for senior citizens 55 and older east of the Meadow Road and Hall Road intersection, north of the Old National Pike.

Council President MC Keegan-Ayer voted against it. “I have many friends who live out here. I hear from them quite a lot. They are reeling under the amount of development that’s going on here. Many of them are considering selling their homes and leaving. They’re that unhappy with what’s going on out there,” she said.

Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater voted in favor. “We really set a very high standard for this development to move forward,” she said “I would just urge all of my colleagues to support this rezoning.”

A number of conditions were placed on the rezoning. One that was introduced Tuesday night by Councilman Steve McKay would require that no building permits will be issued for five years after this rezoning ordinance takes affect. He also echoed Council President Keegan-Ayer’s concerns about too much development in that area. “You’re talking about an area that’s engrossed in construction right now all around it, and we’re talking about adding to it,” he said. “In terms of the quality of life for the residents there, when you’re in constant state of a construction zone all around you, that has a real impact on their quality of life.

Councilman Phil Dacey cast the lone “no” vote against this condition. “These are just, in my view, amendments that are meant to undermine the decisions that we’ve made to move forward and to place reasonable conditions  on the property,” he said. “I think it should be allowed to move at the pace that the market will bear.”

Other conditions put on the property require that a site for public use be transferred to the county. That could include a facility such as a library or community center. Another states that no building permits will be issued until a proposed Lake Linganore Boulevard is completed, and any historic structures on the property be inventoried by the county before they’re demolished

In other action, the Council approved the rezoning of nearly 28-acres of property near Meadow Road and the Old National Pike from office, research and development (ORI) to mixed used (MXD).

The developers plan to construct employment and commercial buildings; no residential development is planned.

The parcel is located near Oakdale Elementary and Middle Schools.

By Kevin McManus