Frederick County Council Discusses Rezoning

The Board also approved a grant application for funds to set up a ride-sharing program.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – There was a lot of discussion Tuesday  night during a Frederick County Council meeting on a rezoning request for 19.662 acres of property just outside of Frederick. The applicant, Kenel Farm, LLC, wants to reclassify the parcel  from agriculture to mixed use development.

“We’re looking to create employment opportunities as well as commercial opportunities,” said Dave Severan, an attorney representing the applicant.

The tract is located between Jefferson Pike and Interstater 70 in the Ballenger Creek Community Growth Area. The applicant plans to build 121,500 square feet of commercial space, and 148,500 square feet of employment space.  There’s also some acreage reserved for open space.

Matt Holbrook is with Saint John’s Properties, which leases out a number of commercial properties. He says the company has spoken with  its tenants in Frederick County. “And more and more we’ve been hearing a lot of tenant demand for this type of product, and they’re wondering where they go next,” he says. “They’re wondering how they stay in Frederick and how they expand in new uses. In our office park, we’re full. There’s no more space in there.”

Holbrook says this new site could be the solution. “There’s a great demand for tenants that love all of what Frederick is and want to stay here. But they got to figure out their next spot. That’s really what pointed us to this location was trying to find another location that would work,” he said.

The rezoning has been approved by the Frederick County Planning Commission, and is before the Council for its consideration.

Severan says the applicant has asked that the amount of space in this project set aside for commercial be increased to 150,000 square feet. “And we believe it’s justified. We believe our application supports it. The public facilities are there to support. And we respectfully request that you consider that tonight,” he said.

The Council is expected to vote on this rezoning request next Tuesday.

Ride Sharing Grant

In other business, the Council approved a grant application from the County’s Department of Housing and Community Development for a federal Community Development Block Grant of no more than $250,000. The funds will be used to help start up a ride-sharing program for low and moderate income residents.

The program will be run by Good Works Frederick and will provide transportation to residents who live in the outlying areas of the County whose transportation options are limited. During a hearing last week, the Council was told that the taxi companies and Uber and Lyft serve mostly urban areas like Frederick city and do out to the far flung areas of the county.

The county is also contributing $300,000 toward the program from its share of the American Rescue Plan Act.

By Kevin McManus