Frederick County Resolves Dispute With Developer, Purchases Site For New High School

The school site is located in the New Market area.

Burrall Farm Map (Picture From Frederick County Government)

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County has resolved a dispute with a developer and has purchased  some property for a new high school.  During  a news briefing on Tuesday, County Executive Jessica Fitzwater announced a settlement with Avanti Properties, which is developing  some parcels within the town limits of New Market called Calumet.

On December 23rd, 2022, Avanti filed a complaint against the county and the town, asking for a declaratory judgment of the rights of Avanti, and asking the court to order the county to  schedule a public hearing related to some water and sewer plan amendments which were already approved by the Planning Commission in 2016.

Since she took office in December, Fitzwater said her staff had been working on resolving this dispute. “Today {Tues., Sept. 19th, 2023}, I signed a memorandum of understand with the Town of New Market and Avanti Properties that will allow the county to settle this matter in a way that avoids further litigation, and provides support for infrastructure within the community.”

“This settlement agreement will address Avanti Properties’ concerns by ensuring the County schedules the necessary water and sewerage plan amendments for County Council consideration without further legal action,” Fitzwater continues.

She also said this agreement calls for Avanti to pay $8.6 million in school mitigation fees, and ensures the availability of funds to pay for the County’s ongoing maintenance costs for the future New Market Bypass.

Also at her news briefing on Tuesday, Fitzwater announced that the county has purchase the Burrall Farm located along Routes 85 and 75 for a future high school. “The county purchased this 119-acre property for $.2.2-million well below market value,”; she said. “We were excited to work with the owners of this land who did not want to see their property developed into a new housing community.”

When it’s constructed, it will be the 11th public high school in Frederick County.

“This property is an ideal site for a school to serve the New Market and Urbana growth areas,” says Fitzwater.

By Kevin McManus