Frederick County Planning Commission To Hold Hearing Next Month On Sugarloaf Plan

Sugarloaf Mountain

Citizens can offer comments in person, or over the phone or by e-mail.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – The public will get the chance next month to comment on the proposed Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan. The Frederick County Planning Commission is expected to hold a hearing on the plan on Wednesday, May 11th on the first floor hearing room of Winchester Hall beginning at 6:00 PM.

The plan covers about 20,000 acres from the Monocacy National Battlefield to the southern border with Montgomery County. “The plan has been submitted to Maryland Department of Planning for what’s call a 60-day review,” says Kimberly Golden Brandt, Director of Livable Frederick. “So they take the lead in distributing it to the other state agencies. We expect to receive comment from them hopefully before May, but perhaps not.”

She also says the plan has also been distributed to surrounding jurisdictions and municipalities.

After the hearing, the Planning Commission will hold workshops on the plan “That will be the Planning Commission’s opportunity to decide what changes they want to make to the plan based on the feedback that they’ve received from all of those entities that are currently reviewing it, and from the public,” says Brandt.

She spoke recently to the County Council which will make the final decision on the plan.

The plan calls for maintaining the rural character of the Sugarloaf area, minimizing residential growth which relies on well and septic, and limiting any forest loss. Those characteristics have discussed by the county in past , according to Tim Goodfellow, Livable Frederick Environmental Principal Planner II. “The land west of I-270 had been planned for low intensity use, farming, parks, woodlands, very low density housing,” he said, reading from a 1978 plan. “Sugarloaf Mountain, a recreational and wildlife conservation area, dominates the land uses in this western district.”

Citizens who want to testify at the May 11th hearing can show up in person. Residents can still keep continuing calling in their comments if they prefer, or sending them by e-mail.

By Kevin McManus