We are coming to the end of the third year of a developer-controlled majority of the Board of County Commissioners. You might think their anti-environment, anti-education and budget-depleting gifts to their friends and contributors would begin to subside. Not so. There’s more coming — and soon:
n First is the monstrous new 1,500 dwelling unit development in the agricultural region of Monrovia, without adequately planned road and school upgrades. The planning commission public hearing will be at Winchester Hall today, with a 4:30 p.m. rally in front of the building. If you care about the future of Monrovia, please turn out for this rally and hearing!
n Also important is the reduction of natural vegetation along streams throughout the county. In the Linganore watershed soil erosion off barren stream banks creates the sedimentation that we now see in Lake Linganore. Taxpayers are currently on the hook for $8 million to pay to dredge that soil from the lake. (Additionally, this BoCC has approved more than 5,000 new homes in the Linganore watershed, growth that will require stripping vegetation and exacerbate erosion.) The public hearing about streamside buffer reduction is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. in Winchester Hall, third floor.
n The BoCC has requested staff to create legislation to eliminate impact fees for the thousands of new housing units. Commissioner Young has signaled to his loyal commissioners that the abolishment of impact fees and replacement with transfer taxes (to take the cost of development’s infrastructure off the developers’ backs and place it on homeowners’) is his priority. Watch how they vote.
n Finally, take note that more and more “public hearings” are now scheduled during the day when most people are at work and cannot attend. Stealth legislation.
There is one year left for this BoCC majority to undermine good planning and give county funds away for developer interests, and other special friends like Aurora healthcare. As a commissioner now for 19 years I have never seen a group of elected commissioners who so blatantly favor their personal and special interests over the citizens and future well-being of this county.
I am disgusted to witness these and prior actions of the last three years that leave a legacy of environmental neglect, growing bills and future tax increases, in the millions, to be shouldered by Frederick County taxpayers.
DAVID GRAY, Frederick County Commissioner