10/7 Sugarloaf Alliance Newsletter: Action Alert!
Attend the 10/11 Council Hearing
1. Why our “Sea of Green” at Tuesday's (10/11) Hearing Matters
Please plan to Attend the Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 11, 5:30pm. This is a hearing on the Sugarloaf Plan as amended. Again we’re hearing rumors that there may not be four votes to pass the Plan when it comes to a vote. At this hearing on Tuesday, we need to show strong support for the Plan, because:
-The boundary is drawn at I-270.
-The page 54 invitation to reopen the Plan soon is gone.
-Sugarloaf Mountain and other Stronghold properties are included in the preservation boundary. Correction: In the last newsletter, we said that Mr. Dacey had withdrawn the amendment (#15) to carve-out Stronghold property. Council did vote; the amendment failed 1-6, with Mr. Dacey the only Member in favor.
“The Plan” is only one part of the preservation effort. Our job is not done. Some Council Members' votes and comments should concern us, because they imply sympathy to development potential inside the Sugarloaf boundary.
-Council Members Fitzwater and Keegan-Ayers and Dacey voted to leave the p. 54 language in the Plan. (The objectionable page 54 language appeared to be an invitation to reopen the Plan decisions in the short-term.)
-Council Members Fitzwater, Keegan-Ayers, Dacey and Blue voted against an amendment (#5) suggesting Urbana Community Growth should be focused on the east side of I-270.
YOUR TALKING POINTS
Because of some Council Members comments and those two votes, we have concern that the Plan’s full passage with the Overlay is not assured. In your comments:
-Thank Council Members for supporting the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan with the I-270 boundary and for removing the page 54 language.
-Remind them that the Sugarloaf Plan is a preservation plan, not a development plan. We are not opposed to development, but there are already-approved growth zones elsewhere. This is not the place, for many sound environmental reasons. (Link here and here for more information.)
-We believe the Overlay zone is the key to preservation inside the boundary. Please support applying the Overlay to the Plan area.
-In Council's effort to be fair to varying interests, please include Mother Nature and preservation of Frederick County’s historic sites in the calculations. The I-270 plan boundary was a good decision, not just because of the number of voters supporting it, but because it makes good preservation and environmental sense for the County. Please pass the Overlay and don’t let developer influence overwhelm that good sense.
Again, please plan to Attend the Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 11, 5:30pm. This is a hearing on the Council’s version of the Sugarloaf Plan, as amended. (Note: If you’d like more detail on the amended plan, visit the County’s Sugarloaf web page, and there is a summary of the Council’s actions on Plan amendments in the 10/4 Frederick News Post.) And….We will have Sugarloaf Alliance t-shirts available outside Winchester Hall, at 5pm on 10/11, before the hearing! *
2. * Wear Your Sugarloaf Alliance T-Shirts This Weekend!
Are you going to one of the many fall festivals and art tours this weekend? Please wear your Sugarloaf Alliance t-shirt! We’ve found that it does start conversations, and the QR code on the back will send folks to the Sugarloaf-Alliance.org website.
The Sugarloaf Alliance t-shirts are green of course! And perfect for supporting the Sugarloaf Plan at Council meetings and every day in public! You can get yours for a minimum donation of $20. We’re working on how to connect through the website; for now, please reply to this email to make arrangements to get yours. We have limited supplies left of sizes M, L, XL, and XXL. If you have one already, please send us a photo of you wearing it!
3. Looking Ahead: Public Hearing and Vote on 10/18
After the upcoming hearing on 10/11, there will be two more County Council meetings to consider the Sugarloaf Plan, the Overlay and other rezoning.
On Tuesday 10/18, the County Council is scheduled to vote on the Sugarloaf Plan itself (that is, the vision and guidance document). They will continue to discuss zoning legislation - which includes the preservation Overlay. Because proposed zoning legislation has been amended, there will be another hearing on this date.
On Tuesday, 10/25, the Council will have their “final reader” of zoning legislation text amendments, and they will vote on zoning legislation, which includes the preservation Overlay.
A number of you have asked about making donations to Sugarloaf Alliance. We do have bills for our legal efforts pressing for transparency in Frederick County government, an effort that will continue long past October. We also have normal “business” expenses for insurance, our website and flyers. We’re all volunteers doing this “business," working hard with you to preserve our beautiful Sugarloaf area. If you’d care to donate, please send a check, payable to Sugarloaf Alliance, to our Treasurer, Nick Carrera, 2602 Thurston Road, Frederick, MD 21704. Thank you!