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Public Testimony Taken Wed. Night On Monrovia Town Center

Public Testimony Taken Wed. Night On Monrovia Town Center

The Frederick County Commissioners Wednesday night took public comment on the proposed Monrovia Town Center Project. More than 100 people signed up to speak, many were in opposition.

The Board is considering a request from 75-80 Properties, LLC, and Payne Investment, LLC, to rezone 457.32 acres located north of Route 80, east of Ed McClain Road and spanning Route 75 south of the village of Monrovia from Agriculture to Planned Unit Development. This change could clear the way for the construction of 1,510 new homes.

"The current one-mile radius around Monrovia Town Center has 700 people. With Landsdale and Monrovia Town Center, that number would raise 7,774," said Gail Lolley of Monrovia. "The roads cannot support this."

Jessica Wormeld of Mount Airy said this development contains what citizens don't want. "More traffic, accidents, fatalities on inadequate roads like {Route} 75. Overcrowded schools, water issues, overburdened postal service, law enforcement, fire and rescue services, and higher taxes in Frederick County," she said.

"I want you to think long and hard before you give them your approval to rape our land and make death traps out of our roads," said Judy Harris of Monrovia.

The developers say they will provide funds to help upgrade inadequate roads, and will donate a site to the school system for a new high school. But citizens say the money the applicant is providing is not enough, and it will be many years after development has begun that a high school will be constructed at that site. 

Russell Harris scoffed at the idea that the Monrovia Town Center will be a walkable community, where residents can walk to the store and other locations close to their homes. He said the project will only increase traffic on inadequate roads. "These roads will only become even more dangerous as the development is being built, more drivers are added and roads are eventually widened," he said. "How long will it take before the first pedestrian is struck by a car while trying to cross these busy roads? How many people have to be injured or killed in traffic accidents before you realize this development is a bad idea?"

The Commissioners will continue the hearing on Thursday night at Winchester Hall beginning at 6:00.

"We are listening," Board President Blaine Young told the audience at Urbana High School.  Many Monrovia residents felt the Commissioners had already made up their minds about the project, and that testifying would be a waste of time.   

Youn also said it won't just be an up or down vote on the rezoning request; the county's staff has been told to come up with alternatives.

Commissioner Young also said the Board could get through this rezoning request on Thursday, and then begin work on the proposed Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreement. The Commissioners have set aside time next week, Tuesday and Wednesday, January 21st and 22nd, to consider the DRRA.


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