Legislation Setting Up A County Overlay For Frederick Municipal Airport Being Drafted

It would let the airport have a say in development proposed that area.

Photo from City of Frederick website.

Frederick, Md (KM) Legislation is being drafted which would allow Frederick County to set up an overlay near Frederick Municipal Airport. Council President Brad Young is working on this proposed ordinance, and he says the County would have a say in any construction  planned in  that overlay which could interfere with airplanes and helicopters taking off or coming in for a landing.

“Part of the planning process would be then, that anything that was developed around the airport, then the Planning Commission for the county would have, as part of its check list, to notify the airport for comment to make sure that anything being built in that area would not be harmful to the airport operations,” says Young.

He says some of that construction would include tall buildings, towers and high density development where aircraft would fly over. “In addition, what it does, it makes sure that anyone that’s  buying property around the airport acknowledges and accepts  the fact that they’re buying around an airport,” Young says.

The airport plays a vital role in the area’s economy, noting that Frederick Municipal Airport is the second busiest airport in Maryland, and it’s important to keep it in operation. “What we’ve seen in other cities around the state and the around the country is that as growth encroaches around the airport, people get less and less happy with airplanes going over, and they try to get the airport shut down,” Young says.

The City of Frederick has its own overlay around the airport. Young says the County’s proposed ordinance would be similar, but it covers land in the county which is near the airport.

Young says he hopes to present this bill to the Council by July, with hearings to be held in August.

“The FAA takes a look at where approach and take off patterns are to make sure that there’s nothing that’s obstructing air traffic, or that would be a problem for that,”: he says. “So this gives an opportunity for the airport to give that input on anything.   It does not prevent things from being built on the property.”

By Kevin McManus