When it comes to the Monocacy River, officials in Frederick and Carroll counties are still trying to reach a compromise.

That is, a compromise on the river’s management plan, which aims to preserve the water quality of the river and serve as a guide for how local officials should protect it.

Frederick County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D), Carroll County Board of Commissioners President Stephen Wantz (R) and other officials met last week to discuss differences between the plan Carroll County passed last November and the one Frederick County passed in April.

A June 5 memo from Carroll County’s water resources supervisor, Byron Madigan, outlined those major differences.

First, the river “corridor” definition “remains too broad and open to be accepted by the general public,” according to the memo.

The memo also details concerns about parts of Frederick County’s ecologically significant areas, stating that maps and listings of potential locations/resources could be “too much information to include for a small section within the plan” and that it would be better to provide an explanation and link to the agency that handles that topic.

Other areas of concern include changes to connecting trails and bike paths around the city of Frederick, and how the views of property owners along the river would be protected.

Keegan-Ayer said it was unlikely her colleagues would consider revising the ecologically significant areas section of the river plan, but added she would discuss those with fellow council members.

She said she is meeting with staff in the county’s planning department Tuesday to try to “wordsmith” some definitions and parts of the plan, including the river corridor.

But that definition can’t include any reference to distance from the river, Keegan-Ayer said.

“The distance changes, depending on the topography of the land,” she said. “When the riverbanks are steeper and higher, the river is contained more within the actual riverbed itself. When the banks are lower, when they’re shortened, when they’re closer to the river itself, the river spills out over the banks and then that part of the land that goes under the water.”

Wantz and Madigan could not be reached for comment by phone Monday. But Harry Sellers, president of the Carroll County Farm Bureau, said Monday that any joint plan must protect the rights of property owners.

He said he hadn’t reviewed the plan since Carroll County passed it in November.

Keegan-Ayer and Frederick County Council Vice President Michael Blue (R) both said, however, there is no deadline to craft a single plan between the two counties.

But Blue expressed a need to try to compromise.

“It’s not law, it’s not legislation, it’s a plan,” he said. “Let’s get the majority of concerns handled. We’re not going to get all of them handled, but let’s get the majority of them handled. Let’s get it done, and put it to rest.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(16) comments

mrnatural1

As soon as Jared Kushner has achieved piece in the Middle East he should take on this world-class dispute.

Bonanza

Carroll County hold the line. FC will not honor any agreement or compromise. At this moment radical Hagen is proposing amendments to Corruptible Frederick to increase the River Buffer. FC is corrupt and can’t be trusted. Just a government land grab. Told you so! Law suit is the only way for FC residents to protect themselves from the corrupt regime.

hayduke2

NONSENSE

matts853

Carroll lost me at ‘Corridor’. And ESAs are absolutely relevant and fundamental to this plan. Their farm bureau president hasn’t renewed our version and he goes right to the property rights drum beat. They are more than adequately protected under this STEWARDSHIP plan. Enough! No more dancing to Carroll’s tune. If they don’t like our well thought out and reasonable Plan, for the majority of the River mind us, then let them go pound mud on the River’s banks. Geez.

MD1756

"That is, a compromise on the river's management plan, which aims to preserve the water quality of the river and serve as a guide for how local officials should protect it." ... No. The water quality needs to be improved, not preserved. The counties could just preserve the current efforts which has not cleaned the river up to the point where it is no longer impaired and contributing to the poor health of the Chesapeake Bay. ""It’s not law, it’s not legislation, it’s a plan," he said. "Let’s get the majority of concerns handled. We’re not going to get all of them handled, but let’s get the majority of them handled. Let’s get it done, and put it to rest."" ... The counties can't seem to get things done right. It's time for the state to step in and issue regulatory/permit requirements.

mrnatural1

Quote: "The counties can't seem to get things done right. It's time for the state to step in and issue regulatory/permit requirements." Exactly right MD1756. [thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

What does bike paths have to do with this. Should be easy to get rid of that because it has nothing to do with the River and why would property owners be required to give up that right.

hayduke2

Again Dick, no where does the FC plan say property owners have to give up property for bike paths. Read the plan before stating something.

hayduke2

Check out the adopted plan at https://www.frederickcountymd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/318942/MSRMP-County-Council_APPROVED_16April2019?bidId= Pay attention to the "not includes" on pages 4 and 5.

DickD

"Maybe you should read this article, Hay: "Other areas of concern include changes to connecting trails and bike paths around the city of Frederick, and how the views of property owners along the river would be protected."

hayduke2

And who put that statement out....

hayduke2

Again, read the plan and not what Carroll county wants you to believe the plan says....

DickD

Apparently, the Frederick County Council is still considering it, Hay. It may not be in the plan now, but some on the Council still want it. Reporters, report what they are told.

hayduke2

Who on the council? Can’t oppose it because it might be added at some time in the future.

DickD

Read this article, Hay. It clearly states that the Frederick County Council wants bike paths. And likely they are refusing to negotiate with Carroll County because they plan on sneaking it in. No matter what you say about the plan, Hay, it is not final and subject to change.

hayduke2

I have read the artilce - please quote the reference that the Frederick County Council wants bike paths. The memo from Carroll states that but no where does it say the County Council is seeking this. Again, look at pages 4 and 5 of the approved document. I await your response.

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