Frederick County Legislative Package Moving Forward

The Council agreed to send it off to the local delegation.

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County’s 2022 Legislative Package was finalized Tuesday night. The County Council agreed to formally present it to the Legislative Delegation on Thursday, November 18th.

Joy Schafer, the County’s Director of Government Affairs, says the package contains bills proposed by both the County Executive and the County Council. She says one from the County Executive would take $15 out of the $25 marriage ceremony fee and distribute it to Heritage Frederick, which will use the money to store and manage their collections of historic documents, including marriage records. “Heritage Frederick has been proceeding in acquiring documents and collections formally since the mid-1940’s,” she says. “And today they house and watch over more 500 pieces and documents such as photographs, journals, diaries, newspapers, ledgers and genealogy files.”

Schaefer says nine other counties in Maryland do this. She also says County Executive Jan Gardner has discussed this bill with Clerk of the Circuit Court,  Sandra Dalton, and says she doesn’t object.

Another bill proposed by the County Executive would cover the disposition of abandoned or unused burial plots at cemeteries. “This came as a request from the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association of Monrovia out of their concern with how the ownership of unused burial lots often become fractionalized over long periods of time, and the resulting difficulty of maintaining a record and/or the whereabouts of the owners.”

This bill, if passed, would require the owners of abandoned or unused lots to provide the cemetery with a mailing address, where a cemetery may terminate the ownership rights of a plot that remains vacant for 75 years.

The County Executive also put in legislation covering forest banking.

A bill proposed by the County Council would provide limited special elections to fill vacancies on the Frederick County Board of Education. The County Council’s legislative considerations contain several position statements, including one to support urban renewal authority for the town of Mount Airy.

Another position statement would make changes to the wording of the advertisements  for the hearing on the County’s constant yield tax rate. There’s also a position statement supporting the Climate Solutions Now Act. Neither receive unanimous support from the Council.

As part of its motion forwarding the package, the Council agreed to mention that the position statements dealing with climate change and the constant yield tax rate, did not receive unanimous support.

The Legislative Delegation will hold a public hearing on the Package on Saturday, December 4th beginning at 10:00 AM. The 2022 General Assembly convenes on January 12th, 2022.


The Council also heard a presentation on the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan. Kimberly Golden Brandt, Director, Livable Frederick Planning and Design Office, said open houses were held in August after  the Staff Draft Plan was released on July 31st, 2021. She says workshops were held on September 15th and October 20th, and the Planning Commission will hold two more on November 10th and 18th.

After a recommended plan is put together, it will be sent to the Maryland Department of Planning for its review. At the same time, the document will be sent to neighboring jurisdictions for their consideration.

When that’s finished, Brandt says the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing. “And after that public hearing, they’ll need to review the comments that have been received from the state, from neighboring jurisdictions, from the public, and decide if there are any additional changes they’d like made to the plan,” she says.

The document will then be  sent over to the County Council which will hold its own hearing. Brandt says that’s expected to take place sometime next year. She did not give a specific time.

The Sugarloaf region covers about 17,000 acres.

By Kevin McManus