Frederick County Council Discusses Sugarloaf Plan

Sugarloaf Mountain (Photo from the Stronghold Corporation)

Citizens for and against testified.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – The Frederick County Council on Thursday went over it detail part of the proposed Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan. The document covers the area from the Monocacy National Battlefield south to the Montgomery County line. Interstate 270 is the easternĀ  end of the area covered in the plan, with the western end at the Monocacy River, Greenfield Road and Route 28.

The land area,  which covers almost 20,000 acres, is mostly agriculture and forested, and includes Sugarloaf Mountain.

The Council also took citizen testimony on the plan. Blake Patterson, who lives on Mount Ephraim Road, is one of several land owners in the region who is concerned their properties will be downzoned from agriculture to resource conservation. “I am an excellent steward of my land. But your proposed overreaching action implies that I am in need of your assistance to care for my land. I assure you; I am not in  such need,” he says.

Victoria Kugle, who lives on Lily Ponds Road, had similar comments. “The overlay and the downsizing will restrict my use of our land and our property, and hurt the value of my property, and should be remanded back to the Planning Commission,” she said.

Laureen Greenberger spoke in support of the plan which she says will protect the rural and scenic nature of the Sugarloaf area. “It is a place to protect for our community, for my family, for everyone around and for people who live in the whole region,” Greenberger says.

Caroline Taylor with Montgomery Countryside also testified in favor of the plan, but urged the Council to remove a section which allows adjustments to the plan in the Urbana Community Growth Area. “This is a bit of a loophole that will allow amendments that may undercut the important work that’s been done for several years to establish this plan,” Taylor said.

The Council will hold another workshop on the plan on Monday, August 15th at 5:30 PM. A community meeting on the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan is scheduled for Thursday, August 18th from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Urbana High School.

By Kevin McManus