The Unredacted County Documents
See for Yourself
On 10/19/21, Sugarloaf Alliance filed two Maryland Public Information Access (MPIA) requests. The Alliance sued because we believed that the county's response was inadequate under the MPIA law. On 6/8/23, the Frederick Circuit Court ordered the county to release the bulk of the requested documents, which relate to the boundary of the Sugarloaf Plan. We received the documents a week later.
On Thursday, 6/15/23 the Frederick News Post received from the county the same unredacted documents as Sugarloaf Alliance. On 6/17, FNP published a long article describing some of the contents. Read the first FNP article here. A second article was published today (6/21). Read it here.
In one MPIA, Sugarloaf Alliance asked for:
"Copies of any emails, sent or received by Frederick County personnel, residing on any email servers owned, managed, used, or controlled by Frederick County, containing any of the following search phrases:
'enhanced mitigation of negative environmental impacts'
'high-quality design elements'
'sectors of biological sciences and technology services'
'existing biological and information technology hub' or
'critical digital infrastructure’
"Please limit this request to email records from February 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021."
Keep in mind that, as you begin to look through the material in this link, there are lots of email exchanges. The county has to send us the entirety of each email - and each email includes the attachments and the whole previous email string - so there’s a lot of repetition.
That said, even the first few documents are eye-opening. Take a good long look at that Critical Data Infrastructure (CDI) Floating Zone map. 9,500 acres of 'this-might-be-a-good-data-center-site’ projection for south Frederick County are represented there, including Ag parcels on the west side of I-270 (even the west side of Rt. 80) inside the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan boundary. It’s not a County Council-approved map. Some of the development negotiations may or may not be Amazon-related anymore. However, the fact that the county still does not talk about this openly has to raise a lot of questions.
In the second MPIA, Sugarloaf Alliance asked for:
Copies of any emails, sent or received by Steven C. Horn, Director, Planning and Permitting
Division, Frederick County, residing on any email servers owned, managed, used, or controlled
by Frederick County, which contain the word “Sugarloaf”.
And there's more....
Those are the two MPIAs that were addressed in court. There were more MPIAs filed. Over time, we’ve received redacted documents and document lists. We’ve also filed MPIAs with the state. We are accumulating a Google Docs file of our requests, correspondence about those requests and the results of those requests. It’s all public information and you can access all of it (including the files above) here.