City reverses Citizens-Montevue subdivision

The city's Zoning Board of Appeals voted Tuesday night to reverse the city Planning Commission's decision to subdivide Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facility. Staff photo by Travis S. Pratt

The Frederick County Board of County Commissioners will need to retrace its steps when pursuing the privatization of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facility.

The city's Zoning Board of Appeals voted Tuesday to reverse the city Planning Commission's decision to subdivide the land.

The land the centers sit upon must be subdivided from the rest of the parcel they are on in order for the county to sell the land and privatize the centers.

The Board of County Commissioners voted this past summer to privatize the centers. A planned sale to Millersville-based Aurora Health Management, which is now operating the centers, is not yet final.

The plan has faced opposition from residents and members of the centers' former board of trustees, who think the centers should continue to serve as public entities serving low-income residents.

The board of trustees was dissolved in June when the county commissioners voted to move forward with the sale of the two facilities.

In its decision Tuesday, the board agreed with the one former board member and two residents who appealed the Planning Commission's decision in a few ways, stating that the county's application was not complete, and the commission should have considered the intent of the subdivision and how the county's plan for the land would affect city residents.

The commission erred when considering the incomplete application, erred in failing to evaluate whether the plan conflicted with the city's comprehensive plan, and erred when thinking that that they were restricted from asking the county its plan for the land, said Jim Racheff, zoning board chairman.

The zoning board voted unanimously to vacate the approval of the subdivision, and remand it back to the planning process.

The county could now file an appeal, or refile a subdivision application to the Planning Commission.

John Mathias, the county's attorney, said after the board's decision that the Planning Commission had it right.

He declined to comment further.

Reached by phone Tuesday night, County Commissioners President Blaine Young said the board's decision will prolong the process of selling the land. He said the commissioners anticipated these issues with subdividing the land and understood it would be a delayed process. Though Young had hoped to finalize the sale by December, he said that now it would not happen until March.

Young said the issue has become political.

"I wish they would just follow the law," he said.

Cindy Powell, a county resident who has been fighting the sale of the centers, said the zoning board's decision is a step in the right direction.

“We feel very strongly that the health and welfare of the entire community needed to be taken in consideration by the Planning Commission,” she said.

The city's Land Management Code states that the Planning Commission must consider the expected impact on public facilities when considering subdivision of land.

The centers as is provide a vital service to the community, and that service would likely be affected by the subdivision of the land, said Bryan Patchan, zoning board member.

Charles F. Trunk III, the former board of trustees member who filed the appeal, said that the city zoning board's decision was the right thing for Frederick County.

Trunk, who was a member of the zoning board for nine years, said that the city should have stopped the county's incomplete application before it got to the commission.

Powell said she is hopeful that with the zoning board's decision, the county will reconsider the sale.

“This pushes it back and gives the citizens of Frederick County more time to raise their voices and let the Board of County Commissioners know that this is a bad decision,” she said. “And it gives the county commissioners 30 days to do the smart thing and to back away from the deal.”

Follow Jen Bondeson on Twitter: @Jen_Bondeson.

(60) comments

Impeach Blaine

Based on the angry tone ba'lane used yesterday - There's gonna be a power letter to the editor this weekend. Can't wait!!


The US Attorney in Philadelphia is getting increasingly interested in this corrupt just Plain Dumb character here in Frederick. I'm sure Plain Dumb will end up in the gutter drinking Ripple wine. He is in for a big fall as justice requires him to be humbled to his knees so that he can see the truth of selflessness with his own eyes. God help him

We are finally headed in the right direction. However, we are wasting huge amounts of money with this mess. I hope this entire "deal" is thoroughly investigated by the proper authorities and we get to the bottom of all the details of exactly why it was soooo important for Blaine to push this deal, at a loss. Frederick County citizens stay informed and keep putting the pressure on. We will get to the bottom of this, and I suspect there is much more to all of this. My guess is, Mr. Young is getting nervous. If he isn't he should be. You follow the law Blaine~ back out of the deal. [beam] write letters to O'Malley...


Kelly---Here's the hypocrisy of Blaine, he complains that the nursing homes have been losing money for years but he continues to subsidize that loss four more years as part of the sales contract...Not to mention he sold the properties at a loss compared to their assessed value...Is there a separate contract for Aurora to manage the homes outside of the sale...Who put that together for a no-bid deal...Maybe they should change the names to Shady Nursing Homes because something is not right and taxpayers deserve answers...Me


db - the hypocrisy actually goes further. He didn't only justify the sale due to the money being lost. He also justified the sale citing that the county gov't had no business being in that business. So then, why on earth is letting the County underwrite a $21M bond offering for Buckingham's Choice?! That deal stinks to high heaven, IMO.


It's incredible to hear Ba'Lane on the radio talking about the people against the sale of the nursing homes.

#1. Today he said "if all these people want the nursing home then why don't they buy it"

LOL because you, Ba;Lane have made this back room deal with Aurora, that's why. And you made sure that no one other than Aurora was gonna buy it.

#2. Ba'Lane thinks the county tax payers do not want the nursing homes sold because they simply do not want them sold.

Well, I can not speak for everyone, but I personally have NO problem with the nursing homes being sold as long as it's to the highest bidder at full market value. And I have no problem with the homes being sold with terms where the county DOES NOT give the buyer one cent ever. And I have no problem with the homes being sold with the contingency that the poor and need will always be welcome there forever regardless of whom owns the facilities.

See, this deal with Aurora just stinks of foul play. And that's what has the tax payers in an uproar. Ba'LAne told Patrick "I have the deal in the bag". We tax payers are not comfortable with this deal with Aurora.

Ba'Lane says he is doing exactly as he campaigned. Ok, show us where he ever said "when elected I will sell the county nursing homes at far below market value and I will also pay the buyer for buying the homes".


"Why don't we buy it."

That is an interesting thought. Why not sell shares of every heritage site that Frederick County citizens have owned for two hundred years (and then some). Frederick County, in Blaime Young's eyes, is ripe for the auction block. No commodity too sacred to sell. Simply stop by his Presidential suite and leave your bid with his secretary; checks are welcome with proper "identification".

In other words, history is bunk for sale.

That, Mr President, is your mistake. I strongly refuse to vote for anyone named "Young" in any upcoming election. That is quite sad, because I considered Ron Young an excellent representative - with the exception he and Karen never could talk sense into you.

To disrespect the historical treasures of Frederick County makes you a carpetbagger and a scoundrel in the worst possible way.

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haha, I heard that too! Ba'Lane thinks only liberals are against him selling the nursing homes to Aurora

jill king

Frederick City's LMC is the easiest to read, said no one ever. Hopefully, the new administration will look into a rewrite.

When was the property annexed into the City of Frederick and was this properly vetted for the new construction? It seems there were many blunders over the years that took place with this property.


Trying to sell it in 2013 was the biggest blunder.


No wonder the county is screwed up if Blaine wants citizens to write personal checks to support the nursing homes...Surprise they already did in their taxes...Typical business mentality by asking those that already gave to give again...Blaine makes snake oil salesmen look like the pope...Me


Should the Board of County Commissioners be making rookie errors?


Why should the people of Frederick County buy what they already own?


Blaine on the raddeo says "if all these people want the nursing home then why don't they buy it"

LOL - because you, Ba'Lane have this back room deal with Aurora. And you won't give anyone other than Aurora the chance to buy it!


I would like to buy Rose Hill Manor. I will be moving in just in time for Christmas.


Newthinking---My point was the BoCC cut government to the point of incompetency and they only have themselves to blame...Now all they have to do is admit it but Blaine isn't man enough to do it...Me


An incomplete application?? More of a rookie error than a major setback


Dbjanda,, your right,, They are highly skilled bussiness men, This is exactly what bussiness does. Takes all it can and leaves tax payers picking up the bils.
Capitalism is great,, untill they decide they are done with you, then you die.
That is the history of any buissness in the U.S


Yes. The tax payers support the very wealthy just like they do the very poor. The wealthy would rather pay one of their crony accountant/lawyer friends $500,000 than pay $400,000 in taxes.


Great the BoCC has the state of Maryland PO'd at the county over a $200K check and now they're not doing well with the city not to mention Aurora, all around the selling of nursing homes...I thought they were supposed to be well-skilled businessmen but they're acting about as unprofessional and naive as you can get...Businesses in Frederick should be embarrassed that this BoCC is representing them as an example of how not to do business here...Personally, I don't think this BoCC would want to do business with itself because they couldn't figure out which one is confused...Now they know how the citizens feel about them...Me


The other concern is now Auroa can come back on the county and sue for not being able to move ahead on the agreed contract for there profits
They are a privae buissness and they want there money now.... and I mean now.


The way the BOCC talk, it is probably a sigh of relief because they won't get stuck with the albatross.


The concern I have in this is why, did the Planning Commision pass this as ok.
Clearly this was questionable , and now we question the legitimacy of the Planning commision of Frederick City.
What was the impetus of this decsion. They did not follow the laws as presented.

Impeach Blaine

See my post below.

I agree. This now raises questions / concerns about previous business by the planning commission.


In a February 2013 meeting with Blaine, he stated that he placed two people on the Planning Commission ... a) to give him more leverage on the Planning Commission such as he has with Kirby & Billy on the BoCC, and b) to give these two people a fast-track toward running for Charter Gov't County Council seats during the 2014 election cycle.

Robbins and Hall are the two names he gave me ... that I put into my notes from that meeting ... and were shared with FNP staff during a May 2013 review of Blaine related meeting artifacts.

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Ballenger Creek Golfer


Impeach Blaine

Ba'Lane said to the reporter:
""I wish they would just follow the law," he said."

And Steve Burns Wrote:
The ZBA found that:......

4. The Planning Commission failed to uphold the Land Management Code requiring due consideration of the public health and welfare, as well as the “best use” for the property;

5. The ZBA ruled that the County had violated state law by negotiating the sale without the properly approved subdivision already in place. (This is a BIG ONE!)......."

Yes Ba'Lane you got your wish! The ZBA IS "Following the laws"!!! Just what you wished for!



Blaine Young, Frederick's very own Rob Ford.


This is great news for those who have worked so hard in opposition to this giveaway to aurora and sell-out of the citizens of this county...and mathias's comments are as usual laughable and at the same time sad...don't think he has ever had a thought that wasn't scripted for him by the fab five....and it is good to see that some of our officials are getting up the courage to oppose the outrageous behavior of this BoCC and their time in power is becoming short.....the clock is ticking

Impeach Blaine

Ok, so now we have to ask about the approval the planning commission recently gave to the changes for Worman's Mill?


The ZBA found that:

1. The County failed to prepare and provide the Planning Commission with a complete application package;

2. The County did not submit a title report (which would have plainly stated the 1828 restrictive covenant—a serious omission);

3. The package was deficient in that all required easements were not specified (water, sewer, street access, parking, etc.);

4. The Planning Commission failed to uphold the Land Management Code requiring due consideration of the public health and welfare, as well as the “best use” for the property;

5. The ZBA ruled that the County had violated state law by negotiating the sale without the properly approved subdivision already in place. (This is a BIG ONE!)

6. And there was more, folks… IT WAS ALL SWEET!

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So are you trying to get a contract from Yellow Cab? Or is it a remodeling job on his personal property?

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If the BOCC would hold and election we would know what the majority of county residents want; or at least what the ones who vote want.

Otherwise all we really know is what you, digdugmd, and the BOCC wants.

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What? Are you looking for some contract work with Yellow Cab?


Ok now proceced whith more taxes from the city too for the nursing home. presented by jan gardner a waste for sure on us tax payers.Old one fine.Bring on Jan to save all and spend more .


Jan of Maryland will save Frederick County!!!

Three cheers for Jan!!!

Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray!


I'm glad you brought this up. Blaine "Big Spender" Young's BOCC will spend $516 million in FY 2014. In FY 2011, the last year of the Gardner BOCC spent $438 million. This is an increase of $78 million in just three years!

If "Big Spender" is able to sell Montevue, he will squander $25 million more of taxpayer assets.

Bring on Jan to save us all. And stop the reckless financial hemorrhaging.

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Blaine just feels this is a 90 day set back, there are still 2 pending lawsuits and the Maryland Board of Public Works, led by Governor O'Malley still have to approve. So the county will continue to run up lawyer fees and pay Aurora Health Management a $50,000 a month management fee. Sounds like a waste of tax payer money. I hope at least the county is passing lawyer fees on to Aurora. Blaine must reconsider this terrible deal with Aurora!


Sorry Balainethevader. you should drop the whole deal before the stae and feds get really deep into what is going on!!!

Comment deleted.

Take your pick:

Striving to Achieve Excellence (STAE)
Specify Task Abnormal Exit (STAE)
Second-Time-Around Echo (STAE)

Ballenger Creek Golfer

Moderator, please ban this person for life for personal attack on Blainetehvader. There is no need for this sort of behavior.


Why would anyone call themselves Darth Vader - the most evil being in the universe? Sort of reveals his character


"I wish they would just follow the law," he said. ( quote from blaine young re: zap's vacating of the illegal subdivision from april 2013 of county land. )

/\ why, i think blaine's actually referring to his own board of county commissioners and patsies he's placed in county government:
"I wish they would just follow the law," he said.

it's refreshing to witness a rare stroke of sanity when the rule of law prevails in frederick county. thank you zap for doing your homework and righting a wrong decision.


Why is Blaine Young in such a hurry to sell Montevue at a $25 million loss to Frederick County taxpayers?

There needs to be an outside, independent investigation by the State of Maryland or the FBI. Something doesn't smell right.


Who says they aren't investigating? There seems to be a lot of cooperation from the O'Malley Administration.


If it is politics to be proud of Frederick, to help the elderly in need, and to follow the law, then I agree with Blaine that this is politics. This is also politics because we trust him about as far as we can throw him.


You all know that the BOCC will get what they want in the end, anyway, don't you? I don't know who they have in their pockets, but I do know that they rarely if ever consider what the majority of the people in Frederick County want. Hopefully, this mess will be tied up through the next election so we can vote in people who actually represent the interests of the population and not their own self-serving interests.


The only time the BOCC or any other politician listens to the majority of citizens is when it comes time to count the votes on whether they get to keep their jobs. The period of time between election days is just white noise to their personal agenda.


Blaine's ideological obsession
is to sell, but he can't get possession
and the city is sending
a message defending
the poor from his war of aggression.

A big thank you to Frederick's Zoning Board of Appeals!




I would change "war" to "acts"
War is redundant.


War of aggression has meaning as a term. It's an especially evil and heinous attack against others without provocation. Something Blaine does consistently to the poor.


I never did fully appreciate the care you take in your word choices until this moment. I would still select acts (as a personal act) than as a general leading a war. Blaime Young is just not that believable as a leader.


I agree!


The commission erred when considering the incomplete application, erred in failing to evaluate whether the plan conflicted with the city's comprehensive plan, and erred when thinking that that they were restricted from asking the county its plan for the land, said Jim Racheff, zoning board chairman.....this was my favorite paragraph....

I loved just how many times Jim said erred...and it is nice to see the zoning board B-slap the planning commission and in turn B-slap the Bocc...LOL
It is also nice to know the zoning board does not appear to live in Blaine's back pocket. Oh yeah they were not hand-picked by Blaine.

Young said the issue has become political.

"I wish they would just follow the law," he said.....And we wish you would follow the law as well Blaine. Happy Thanksgiving Blaine. I would imagine you will be splitting the day between the families, your new family and your old one, am I correct?


Lucy, as a single father raising small children between two households I question why you feel the need to rejoice in the idea that kids will now have to face two households, and a broken family. I dislike Blaine's politics, his decisions, and think he's an all around inept individual, but I will never, EVER rejoice in seeing a family split up, no matter how much I dislike the individual. In my opinion you lose all crediblilty and lower yourself to his level when you start resorting to these sorts of attacks. Stick with disagreeing with his politics and decisions and your point will carry more weight.


If you read her posts you will see is just full of hate.

Impeach Blaine

yeah but all she did was ask his holiday plans.


Happy Thanksgiving Frederick County ! Happy Thanksgiving Blaine !

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