The Frederick County Council will dig into the issue of long-term developer agreements.

The council agreed, by consensus, to hold a workshop about the role Developer’s Rights and Responsibilities Agreements play in county development and whether those agreements strain funding for roads and schools.

County Executive Jan Gardner (D) held a public briefing on the topic last week, issuing two reports outlining the need for about half a billion dollars in county funding for roads and schools for the pipeline of more than 20,000 homes approved, but not yet constructed, in the county. The briefing focused largely on the impacts in and around 14 developments governed by long-term agreements passed by the former Board of County Commissioners.

Councilman Tony Chmelik (R) said at Tuesday’s council meeting that the public briefing was politically motivated and the results of a school capacity report created within the executive branch were skewed. He also questioned the county executive’s decision to allocate $17,000 that was used to pay an outside consultant for the roads study.

Chmelik made a motion to have the council appropriate its own money to have a new independent analysis of the effect of the DRRAs. The councilman, who represents eastern and southern portions of the county that are slated for substantial development over the next few decades, said it would do no good to hold a workshop to discuss the contents of a report he feels is biased.

But there did not seem to be majority support on the council for another expenditure.

Council Vice President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) asked whether Chmelik — upset about the expense for the independent traffic study — was simply looking to spend more money to fund a report that matched his conclusions about school capacity and development. Keegan-Ayer suggested that council members could focus on the data underlying the reports to reach their own conclusions.

Ultimately, Chmelik agreed to withdraw his request for money to conduct an independent analysis for now.

The council will aim to hold a workshop on the topic in October.

Gardner said Tuesday evening that she’d provided council members with copies or links to the studies and two pieces of draft legislation on Saturday, noting then that a workshop might be appropriate.

Two more workshops

The council also agreed to hold another workshop to delve into the finances of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living facilities. Since Gardner took office, she rolled back a plan to sell the facilities, which now operate through a self-sustaining enterprise fund.

A third future meeting was set to discuss an updated river management plan recently approved by the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens Advisory Board. The council wants to hold a workshop to delve into the details of the plan — after it’s presented to the Frederick County Planning Commission and before a public hearing before the County Council.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

(14) comments

FrederickFan

Well, this is certainly a preview of Chmelik's campaign strategy - support residential development, get as much campaign cash as possible, and hope the voters in his District don't notice. It worked once, maybe it will work again. Unless of course a legitimate Republican decides to run against Chmelik. If that happens, Chmelik won't have a chance.

hayduke2

I can't help but believe his constituents have noticed, BIG TIME.

KAYoho

One can only hope.

FrederickFan

Unfortunately, that is not lawful. Blaine's signed Developer Rights and Responsibilities Agreements, heavy on developer rights, and weak on developer responsibilities, that prevent subsequent Boards or the County Executive from stopping these developments. Young, Delauter and Shreve put a hurt on Frederick County Taxpayers that will last more than a generation, and there is very little that can be done about it.

DeltaOne

Chmelik criticizes Gardner for spending $17K on a study, then proposes spending another $15K to $20K on his study. Where is the logic in that?

DickD

Just stop all building permits, let the developers know, if they want to develop, they have to pay the costs of roads, schools, fire departments, police, etc. There should be no free lunch and especially not for those that get that free lunch by giving campaign money to the Blaine gang.

richardlyons

Drove through Jefferson Technology Park, or perhaps it should be renamed "Jefferson Park" as there is not a single business of any type located there. There are however hundreds of townhomes/condos, all of which come with the taxpayer funder "Bridge to Nowhere" giving resident unimpeded access to US 15/340. Sweet deal for those home buyers, not so much for county taxpayers. Thanks Kirby and Billy ; for nothing. Blaine too (in case he decides to crawl out from under his rock).

DickD

He (Blaine) has been crawling out from under his rock, just look for nellyoungblood.

cctjr64

And then after the meeting there was a UFC cage match between Jerry and Kirby.

rbtdt5

Soon, donnie, jessie, kerbie, and billie will be gone. The ship doesn't right overnight.

hayduke2

You got 2 out of 4 right!

matts853

But forgot to include Chmely

hayduke2

matt[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

hayduke2

Again, Tony takes the side that does not represent the majority of his constituents and shows he is views anything the the current CE does with disdain. He has got to go!

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