Work Begins By Frederick County Council On The Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan

Sugarloaf Mountain (Photo from Stronghold Corporation)

A hearing is expected to take place in September.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – The Frederick County Council on Tuesday began its review of the proposed Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan. The document covers about 20,000 acres of land between the Monocacy National Battlefield and the Montgomery County line which is mostly zoned agriculture and resource conservation.

During their hearing, The Council heard citizen testimony. Johanna Springston owns property along Fingerboard Road which has been in her family for 100 years. “I support the plan’s current boundaries, particularly the boundary along I-270. I-270 is the historic and natural boundary that will protect the Sugarloaf area for years to come. I urge to hold the development line at 270,:” she said.

I-270 is the boundary which separates development east of the highway with preservation west of the highway.

Ingrid Rosencranz also owns property along Fingerboard Road that’s been in her family for more than 100 years. “I believe that this is our chance–really, our only chance–to protect this area.–I’m talking about the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan–to protect this area of outstanding natural beauty,:” she said.

But there was a concern raised about “cut outs,” those are plots of land within the Sugarloaf area which were set aside in the plan  for development. Springston says such a parcel was located across from her property that was owed by Developer Tom Natelli. She the Planning Commission took that out of the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan.

Steve Black, a farmer from Adamstown, urged the Council to remove  this language from the plan. “You are going to hear continued efforts to reverse that reversal. People are going to continue to push for that change that was made in the back room outside of the public  process,” he said.

The County Planning Commission approved the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan on July 13th, and sent it off to the Council. As part of its process, the Council will hold  virtual  workshops on August 9th, 11th and the 15th. Councilmembers will also hold in-person meetings  at Winchester Hall on August 23rd and the 30th, and September 13th. All of these meetings begin at 5:30 PM.

The Council will hold a hearing on September 27th at Winchester Hall also starting at 5:30 PM. But citizens can comment on the plan at any of the previous meetings.

A vote on the plan is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18th.

By Kevin McManus