Support the Sugarloaf Management Plan

The Much Needed Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Plan Is So Close to Passage....

The Sugarloaf Regional Management Plan is nearing a vote in Frederick County and the County Council needs to hear from you in support of a compromise solution to get this critical plan passed.

The plan as amended will give the Sugarloaf region long-needed protections for the farmland and forests of the area. Residents worked with the Council and removed "carveouts" of the plan that would have allowed a developer to turn farmland into data centers.

There are two parts to the coming vote. Councilmembers must vote on -
The Plan - The vision document that makes the changes
The Overlay - The zoning changes to realize the plan ("the teeth")

The overlay establishes how permitting would work and disallows certain land uses (residential or ag are allowed - things like gun ranges or rubble landfills, etc are not. )

October 18th was to be the vote on the overlay zone but that vote was delayed.
Stronghold, the organization that owns Sugarloaf Mountain are threatening to close the mountain to the public should the overlay zone pass. Councilmembers seem to be bowing to this pressure and that is a shame.

A Way Forward Takes Shape

The Frederick county council has made another major change to the plan to respond to and accommodate the concerns of Stronghold.

Two councilmembers supportive of the plan - CMs Jessica Fitzwater and Kai Hagen - are now offering a compromise that will exclude the already protective Resource Conservation (RC) zoning (most of the Mountain) from the overlay. The plan's new zoning overlay would apply to all other areas. The Stronghold lands will no longer be in the Overlay District if the compromise amendment passes.

Carving the mountain out of the overlay is not ideal but keeping RC zoning provides stable protection.

Click "start writing" to urge the Council to make this compromise if/when the Mountain agrees.

Upon approval of the changes, any continued threat by Stronghold to close the mountain to the public would be wholly without justification or purpose. In the event that Stronghold refuses to compromise and continues to insist they will close Sugarloaf Mountain if they are included in the Plan or the Overlay District, we urge the Frederick County Council to pass the Sugarloaf Plan and Overlay as currently amended. One landowner should not have veto power over County land use policy.

The vote is scheduled for 10/25- please take action by 5pm on 10/24!

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