MacRo LTD Blog

Land Use Cage Match: Are You Ready for This?

Tune in to WFMD on Thursday, February 9, 2012 to debate who REALLY controls the use and zoning of Frederick County real estate!

Land Use Cage MatchThe fight rages on as the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) press forward with the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Review.

The Planning Commission chose in November of last year to essentially blow off the request by the Board to, in essence, reopen the 2010 Comprehensive Plan adopted by the previous BoCC (le

ad by past president Jan Gardner).

In the name of controlling sprawl and runaway growth, the Gardner board drastically hacked down zoning of nearly 500 parcels of residential land and commercial real estate throughout the county.  In an effort to come up with a minimal means of meeting the state mandated 36,000 new housing units by 2030, that board seemed to have used the same “Fuzzy Math” formula developed during the 2000 U.S. Presidential campaign.

In several posts on the MacRo Report Blog and the, this writer has attempted to show how no-growth mathematics will eventually place Frederick County in a situation where there will be a serious shortage to single family building lots.  This may be hard to believe given the current economic state of the nation, but nevertheless, it is true.

More recently, much has been said and written about what appears to be political grandstanding by planning commission members Bob White and Catherine Forrence as they claim that the Young-lead BoCC had no authority to request that the 2010 Comprehensive Plan be reopened for a complete Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Review.

After a couple of meetings, it became clear that a good bit of pregame choreography went into their final meeting of November 17, 2011 on the matter, with an approved motion that the commission “Cease and Desist” all further effort on the BoCC’s request.

Unshaken, Board President Blaine Young has pressed on with the public hearings where the 193 rejected applicants for rezoning consideration are being given a chance to plead their cases for reinstatement and other zoning changes.

Stirred up by all this madness, former Frederick resident and Jack-of-All-Trades (you name it he can do it, and/or knows everything about it) Adam Avery jumped on the opportunity to host a “Talk Radio Cage Match” of opposing views on this issue featuring yours truly and Mr. White himself.

Listen live at 3:00 PM EST on 930 AM radio (, Thursday, February 9, 2012 and join in on what should be a lively debate on local Frederick land use policy.

  • Can White defend his statement that the Board of County Commissioners has no authority to initiate a comprehensive plan review?
  • Did the 2010 plan provide for enough residential growth over the next 20 years?
  • Were the owners of nearly 500 properties that were down-zoned treated fairly by the Gardner board?
  • Is housing the best pathway to strong and vital business growth in Frederick County?
  • Is the Land Development community a bunch of greedy, money grabbing carpetbaggers?
  • Is it true that the current Board is under “One-Man Rule” by Blaine Young?
  • Is there a better way to bring balance to the land use planning process … could Charter Government be the answer?
  • What impact will Governor O’Malley’s effort to mandate PlanMaryland on all state jurisdictions have on local processes?
  • Do property rights have any value under Maryland law?

No doubt this will be gripping listening!  Punches may fly and decibels may rise.

Who will prevail in defending his position?

Find time to listen, and call in on Thursday to express your opinions at 301-694-9363!

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Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He is an appointed member of the Frederick County Charter Board. He also writes

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