Frederick County commissioners Tuesday voted to rezone roughly 950 acres in the Lake Linganore community as part of a plan to fill out the development with 1,735 more houses.

The board voted 4-1 to approve the proposal, with Commissioner David Gray the only one to oppose reclassifying the land from its agriculture and resource conservation zoning. Allowing the development to move forward will enable the construction of roads and other infrastructure systems that have been lacking in the community, commissioners said during the evening public hearing.

Several community residents and members of the Lake Linganore Association spoke in support of the proposal by the developer, Oakdale Investments.

Roben Najjar, a Lake Linganore resident, said Oakdale's plan could hold the solution to incomplete road networks and other infrastructure gaps.

"When you're living in a community that's half done, these things matter," she said. "If we had the infrastructure that we were once promised, then ... maybe we could feel more like a community."

Others said housing growth would create safety issues by putting more cars on narrow, hazardous roads.

"If any of you have ever driven on Gas House Pike, you will know that road leaves no margin for error," said Catherine Randazzo, who lives near Lake Linganore. "I'm terribly concerned about lots of road accidents and congestion."

The decadeslong history of the Linganore project includes a number of setbacks, and less than half of the envisioned development has come to fruition.

Much of the land discussed Tuesday was slated in the 1960s for development, but in 2008 and 2010, county officials rezoned the property to agriculture and resource conservation.

The proposal approved Tuesday would return these 950 acres to a zoning that allows for development. Oakdale plans to spread 1,735 homes across different villages: Alpine, Hamptons, and Westridge and Woodridge.

The developers are planning to make $148 million in regional infrastructure enhancements as they construct the added houses, said Jason Wiley, who spoke Tuesday to represent Oakdale. Commissioner Billy Shreve said board members had received more than 400 notes from community members supporting the development plan.

However, Michele Rosenfeld, an attorney representing nine individuals and the organization Citizens of Linganore Opposed to Gridlock, said a project traffic study had underestimated the number of drivers that the new homes would add. A review by the Maryland State Highway Administration found that the projections were far lower than they should be, Rosenfeld said.

County staff indicated they were satisfied the traffic analysis was accurate.

Also Tuesday, commissioners approved a 25-year agreement with Oakdale solidifying plans to construct up to 3,235 homes in the Linganore community: the 1,735 newly approved dwellings and some previously approved housing. The development rights and responsibilities agreement, supported by all commissioners except Gray, also freezes the project within a current array of county rules and regulations.

The agreement commits Oakdale to a making a wide range of payments and infrastructure improvements. Oakdale is agreeing to donate a roughly 15-acre elementary school site and offer land for a future fire station.

By law, the rezoning change isn't effective until at least 10 days after the vote. The development rights and responsibilities agreement with Oakdale is the county's fifth such agreement, the first of which was approved in September.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(21) comments

Fleawest

For those of you who do not live in our community, you have no idea what you are talking about. This is a good thing for us. Lake Linganore is a planned community which has suffered from anti-growth measures put in place by past BOCC's. Our community is literally crumbling due to lack of revenue as result of having too few residents. Monrovia and other developments can't say that. Our community will improve as a result of this. Frederick county already has plans to repalce the bridge over Lake Linganore and plans to widen Boyers Mill Road. The health of the lake should not be affected either since all new development must adhere to strict regulations set by the Maryland Department of the Environment. These regulations require the developer to treat all storm water for quantity as well as quality. It's unfortunate MDE can't apply these regulations to farmers because farm runoff is the primary pollutant in the lake and is the major cause of it's poor bill of health. The developer will also aid us in that regard with compensation for lake dredging which will allow us to restore the forebay and trap more sediment thus improving the lake. The list of pros far outweighs the list of cons and if you can't see that then maybe you need to take your blinders off and look at the big picture.

enyaw204

I do live in Lake Linganore and if I don't know what I'm talking about than none of my neighbors do either. None of us were for this rezoning. In fact, only about 300 signatures signed the petition. Our neighborhood is not "crumbling". In fact, it's a pretty great place to live. Sure it's not perfect, but it's better now than what this rezoning would bring. Also, I find it ironic that one of the promises of the developer is to dredge all of the sediment out of the lake. Once they start clearing all the green space and taking down all the trees there will be exponentially more sediment in the lake.

Fleawest

" Our neighborhood is not "crumbling""

Pinehurst Drive and the esplanade are both examples of crumbling infrastructure. Revenue is what is needed to fix things and development will provide that.

" Once they start clearing all the green space and taking down all the trees there will be exponentially more sediment in the lake. "

This statement is completely false. MDE requirements (aka The Law) requires all construction sites to install and maintain erosion and sediment control devices. All water discharging from a site must be as clean as the water that entered it. Once the construction is complete then runoff is treated via storm water management devices and practice such as "Environmental Site Design" which is required and approved by Maryland Department of the Environment. All development in the state of Maryland post 1996 must meet MDE approval by law.

Look for yourself:
http://www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/Design%20Manual%20Chapter%205%2003%2024%202009.pdf

enyaw204

I believe Pinehurst is being repaved/fixed as I type. As for the esplanade, I will give you that one, it is falling apart. It's old and should probably be replaced.

As for the sediment runoff...I do realize that builders have to put up barriers during construction, but what happens after construction when the barriers are down? There's less trees, shrubs, bushes, and other natural barriers to stop the lake from filling up.

Once again, I have yet to run into anybody on my street in Lake Linganore that's for the rezoning. Most like the way our neighborhood is right now- A good balance of homes and green space.

Finally, last week I was in New Market at the intersection of 144 and 75 and it took me three turns at the light to get through the intersection. After all this rampant development the light will back up to Mealey's on a good day. I guess that's what the Building Commision, err Commisioners, call progress.

sodalite3

Stop having children if you oppose new homes. Just were are they supposed to live?[smile]

elymus43

Hopefully the average low intelligence and low IQ voter would wake up before the next election. It is important the new County Executive uses good sense and stop all this home building cold. The developments get approved, the meetings are a rubber stamp to me. The county needs manufacturing jobs that a good wage, not more houses. We need to keep existing farmland for food, not houses. The county could start by helping young men to get started in farming.

mobilityedge

I'm seeing more and more yellow signs going up in yards that had Romney signs last year. And those yellow signs are migrating further and further from Monrovia.

The political winds have shifted. The BOCC just doesn't know it yet.

CRACKER_LEE

What about the water quality of the lake?[huh]

mobilityedge

Visit Lake Whetstone (i.e. Lake Hazmat) in Montgomery Village for a fast-forward.

frederickinsider

$$$$ Kirby!!!

stinkyfarmer

Good, keep them building over there in New Market and Monrovia...just leave the Middletown, Myersville, Wolfsville area alone, west is best.

richardlyons

Move along, nothing to see here.

philhoey

1,700 in Linganore, 8,800 in Monrovia.
With the same roads and the same schools.
Pretty soon 1/2 of our school children will be in portables.

trueyankfan95

Does this really surprise anyone? If so, your head has been in the sand too long.

jthompson

The developers won, you lost!

president8444

Blame Rosco for the new housing, he helped bring social security building to our area.Houses needed for new employees.[wink]

president8444

Ah yes Blaine is welcoming those new employees of social security close. thanks for your strong . Let dems grumble again.Dems wanted more employees,now we need to house them nutties.Blaine wins again.

ddegrangejr

This must be a part of that "STRUCTURED GROWTH" idea... Keep adding and adding homes when the vacant ones in Frederick County can't even sell. Way to go Blaine... "OR I GUESS WE SHOULD CALL YOU THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ".

xroads1213

Those pig trails are really going to get torn up with all of that additional traffic.

armillary

While the roads in old Linganore rot
Blaine adds seventeen hundred new lots
new roads they'll be laying
for the ones who are paying:
a community of haves and have nots.

frederickhole

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