Circuit Court Dismisses Challenge to Fredrick County Comprehensive Plan
(11/25) The Frederick Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) today announced that Judge Theresa Adams of the Frederick County Circuit Court dismissed the lawsuit that Friends of Frederick County and others filed to challenge the adoption of the Frederick County Comprehensive Plan and Comprehensive Zoning.
Board President Blaine Young commented, "On behalf of the Frederick Board of County Commissioners, we are very pleased with this decision by Judge Adams. We have always have stood by the Comprehensive Plan and feel that these kinds of politically motivated legal challenges are unfounded and are a drain on the taxpayers. This once again proves that we have followed the law
and followed the correct process in adopting a legal comp plan for Frederick County."
Judge Adams found that "the BOCC has engaged in proper and lawful comprehensive planning and comprehensive zoning." Accordingly, she dismissed the case, granted a Declaratory Judgment in favor of the county and denied Friends’ request for a Declaratory Judgment.
Friends of Frederick County initially claimed that the BOCC lacked the legal authority to amend the 2010 Comprehensive planning and zoning decisions, asserting that the county had an unlawful purpose of increasing the value of selected properties. The judge found no evidence that this was the purpose of the Comprehensive Zoning and also noted that she could not find any
legal authority stating that Comprehensive Zoning could not have this purpose.
Friends next claimed that this was not Comprehensive Zoning, but instead piecemeal zoning. The court had little trouble determining that this was comprehensive and not piecemeal zoning, noting, among other things, that the process reviewed the entire unincorporated area of the county -- a total of 384,924 acres or 601.44 square miles.
The last challenge was that the county failed to follow certain procedural requirements. Again, the court could not find any support for such a conclusion.
The plaintiffs will have 30 days to appeal this decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
For more information, contact County Attorney John Mathias at 301-600-1030 or via e-mail at jmathias@FrederickCountyMD.gov.
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