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Your Dollars Supported Preservation

in Frederick County

in 2023

Sugarloaf Alliance is a focal point for area residents like you, who are mission-driven and determined that profit-seeking interests won’t succeed in destroying the environmental integrity of south Frederick County. 


Very little money is needed to sustain the organization itself. Your donations go toward the expenses incurred in the environmental outreach and advocacy work, mostly legal. We are 501(c)3. Your contributions are tax deductible.


The Sugarloaf area fight could have been over this year, but.... The County Council rejected the Sugarloaf Overlay District, citing the I-270 boundary as their biggest problem with it. Instead of creating a barrier to applications for incompatible development in this area, the Council opened the door to incompatible development. After all the residents' work in support of preservation and after all the preservation-friendly recommendations and votes by decision-makers, we find ourselves back at square one: fighting to hold the line against data centers.


We’ll all continue to work hard: Here is a partial list of things we’ve been doing in 2023 to support preservation:


- Transparency: We’ve been filing Maryland Public Information Access (MPIA) requests to learn how various county decisions are being / have been made. The county has been resistant, using fees and redactions in ways we believe are inconsistent with the MPIA law. In 2022, we sued for access to the county’s records about secret Amazon negotiations and, last spring 2023, we won. The suit yielded 800 pages of unredacted documents including the CDI floating zone map. The decision did not give us full legal reimbursement, though, so we are appealing (but we’re more than $25K in the hole with bills to pay). We’re happy to say the the Public Justice Center agrees with us about the law and our case and will handle our appeal. 


- Newsletters (as needed): We send to more than 650 Sugarloaf Alliance members, informing the community about preservation issues and the status of Planning Commission, County Council and other decision-making bodies’ agendas and actions. We don’t fill up your in box; we only send when there’s something new you should know or when there’s something we think you could do to affect the decision-making process.
- Research:  Sugarloaf Alliance members research and collect information about preservation issues that are and that should be considered by the county as the preservation decisions are made. These topics include specifics about local geology and ecology, climate change, information about local history and community, the data center industry (including a guided tour of Loudoun County’s Data Center Alley), energy and water issues, property maps, state transportation plans and budgets (re I-270), and the process and status of decision-making.
- Website:  We maintain a website to share the most important information described above, and we also try to disseminate basic information via social media.
- Advocacy: We have shown up and testified at all Planning Commission and County Council meetings where the Sugarloaf Plan and Overlay were on the schedule (too many to count). We comment in writing. Our members are showing up and speaking at the county executive’s Data Center Workgroup meetings. Based on our research, we create talking points for you to use in your testimony and written comments. We have created petitions so residents can easily be counted in response to specific issues. We’ve met with individual Council Members, most twice this year. We’ve been monitoring and responding to the Quantum Loophole and QLoop environmental bad behaviors.  We attend selected public events in order to hand out flyers, show the maps, and raise awareness. We made green t-shirts! (We have a few left - want one?)
- Partnering and Outreach:  None of us can do this alone. We actively inform and collaborate with other interested individuals and organizations - folks who focus on the environment, on climate change, on local history, on community, on governance - at the county, state and regional levels. 
Thank you for your continuing support and participation!
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