Testimony Taken Tuesday Night By County Council On South Frederick Corridors Plan

A small number of people testified.

Frederick, Md (KM) Only four people testified Tuesday night before the Frederick County Council on the South Frederick Corridors  Plan.  The document covers 6.3 square miles in the Frederick city area with Interstate-70 to the north, the Monocacy River to the east and New Design Road to the west. The goal is to put a lot of residential development in the area which has infrastructure to handle it.

The Surgarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan was a conservation-based plan whereas the South Frederick Corridors Plan deals with infill development and redevelopment, according to County Planning officials.

One citizen who spoke was Mark Long of Emmtsburg who is a member of the Frederick County Planning Commission. But he said he was not speaking for the Commission in offering his support for this plan. “Recognizing that Frederick County will continue to grow over the next decade, the redevelopment of the South Frederick Corridors Plan presents  a unique opportunity to absorb much of that projected residential growth while preserving our farmland and our agricultural industry,” he said.

Also speaking was Kevin Sellner of Frederick who is with Citizens for Responsible Growth. “Why is it a remarkable plan,” he asked. “Because it is a vision for a very different design in the area, mixing residential, commercial. retail and industrial uses with common streetscapes.”

Holly Nelson, the Facilities Planner for Frederick County Public Schools, says the school system supports the plan, but would like one change. She noted that the plan calls for four new elementary schools, one new middle school and one new high school. “Based on the Board of Education’s policy of planning for 900-seat middle schools, and the 1300 middle school students expected to be generated by the plan, FCPS will actually need 1.4 middle schools to support this area,”: she said.

Nelson asked that the Plan call for two new middle schools.

She also called for these new communities in the plan area have walkable neighborhoods. “Due to the dense urban nature of this planning area, school sites will have limited areas for car and bus drop offs,:” Nelson said. “In order to preserve the function of the traffic system as a whole, and avoid unreasonable congestion during school arrival and dismissal times, the road network must be designed to prioritize pedestrian traffic.”

The Council is expected to vote on the plan at a later date.

By Kevin McManus