(9/2014) Developing and Growth continue to be very hot topics here in our County. Right now the big issue being discussed is the Firing Range in the southern part of the County.
A beautiful horse farm along Thurston Road near Urbana has been sold and the new owner wants to use for a shooting range and retail store on the property. The farm is in the Sugar Loaf Mountain area of the County. The citizens of the surrounding area have ask the current County Commissioners and those of us who are running for the County Council and the
candidates for County Executive to issue our opinion on the issue coming before the Frederick County Board of Appeals. While knowing the area I thought I should take a look at the area before expressing an opinion.
I am a firm believer in the rights of our citizens to sell their land and I also believe that every land use application also meet the test has it relates to the question "is it in the proper location"?
With this in mind I wanted to see firsthand what the citizens in the Sugarloaf area concerns were. I have made many trips to Sugarloaf with my family through the years and always viewed the mountain as a place to be enjoyed by everyone. The peace and quiet one finds in the Sugarloaf area is something to be treasured by everyone.
I stopped at a nearby horse farm and was amazed by the echoes I heard in the valley as the sounds bounced around the area where the Shooting Range is to be located. I can only image what it would sound like with the gun fire from several guns firing at the same time to those living in the area, let alone to the horses on the nearby horse farms.
I am torn as I want new business for the county and I also am a firm believer in the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I believe both goals can be achieved in our County, just not in the middle of horse farms and a recreational area like Sugarloaf Mountain.
So if I were voting, I would vote no on this request. If this location is turned down, those of you living in the Northern part of the County could be facing the same request in the months ahead.
If you want a say in what happens in your community be involved and stay alert and contact those of us who you elected in November and express your views as I can assure you, I for one, will be a County Council member who will listen to you as I am running for a County Council at Large seat which means I will be your Member and remember "this Bud is for
To learn more about Bud Otis visit his campaign website at www.budotis.com