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Residents weigh in on the Thurmont Region Plan

(11/1) The public recently had an opportunity to voice their opinions on the Thurmont Region Plan at a public hearing held by the Frederick County Planning Commission.

For nearly two hours, dozens of people took the opportunity to speak to the planning commissioners, Catherine Forrence, Joan M. McIntyre and Audrey L. Wolfe and address various concerns and offer suggestions.

Many of the concerns regarded proposed rezoning in the plan. Some residents took issue with property being rezoned from one land use designation to another.

Thurmont Mayor Martin Burns had similar concerns. When a rezoning occurs and changes something that has “been one way forever, it gets people worried,” Burns said, cautioning the commissioners to “be very cautious” when deciding which properties to rezone.

Others were displeased that their properties had not been rezoned and asked the board to consider their suggestions for rezoning. Ronald Wolfe, of the Sabillasville area, was one of many who offered the board suggestions for rezoning.

Wolf’s property had already been rezoned from agriculture to resource conservation land use previously, but Wolf asked the board to rezone it again to low-density housing so that he could leave the land to his children when he passes away.

Another request came from the Myers family, who just over a week before the county meeting had seen their farm annexation request rejected by the Thurmont Board of Commissioners.

The Myers rejected annexation request with Thurmont called for 350 single family houses and town homes, retail and commercial space, an emergency medical center and a community pool. In light of the rejection, the Myers asked the Frederick County Planning Commission to change the land use of the property in an apparent bid to still put the plans in motion.

“I would like the land presently zoned agriculture changed to general commercial,” Eugene Myers said, also suggesting 100 acres be residential. Myers suggested that if the land were rezoned homes could be built on the property, as could businesses and possible a medical center. Myers suggested that the change would create new jobs and the opportunity for more to live in Maryland versus Pennsylvania.

There are no plans to hold another public hearing with the Frederick County Planning Commission, but anyone wishing to comment or offer suggestions on the plan may continue to do so via e-mail, mail or phone. The Frederick County Planning Commission will hold a workshop about the Thurmont Region Plan on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. at Winchester Hall in Frederick.

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