Frederick County Council members approved 22 amendments — with modifications to many of them — to the 2017 version of the Monocacy Scenic River Plan at its meeting Tuesday night.

Many of the amendments added a version of the word “voluntary” and added language to show the plan was not trying to infringe on private property rights. It also added the word corridor and defined that term in the plan’s glossary.

Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) and Councilman Steve McKay (R) were the authors of many of the amendments. Councilman Phil Dacey (R) added two amendments Tuesday that stated the plan “supports the establishment, creation and maintenance of a voluntary riparian buffer consistent with State guidelines” and emphasized that the plan “does not advocate public use of private property.”

Kai Hagen (D) was the lone “no” vote on the former amendment, as well as others. Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater (D) was absent Tuesday.

Hagen said multiple times that the plan never meant to infringe on property rights and that some of the language was repetitive, including the word “voluntary.”

“I understand the motivation, but I think it’s overkill,” Hagen said of the use if the word before the council started discussing the 22 amendments.

One of McKay’s amendments was to add language related to green infrastructure, natural resources and other terms related to the 2010 Frederick County Comprehensive Plan that were previously removed.

McKay said he took specific goals from that plan and inserted them into the amendment, which passed 6-0.

The council’s efforts were praised by multiple people Tuesday, including Monocacy Scenic River Citizens Advisory Board member George Grillon, from Carroll County.

Grillon, however, said the river board needs guidance on its role, given that Carroll County approved the 2018 version of the plan, which the Frederick County Council rejected last month. It’s also unclear if both counties will work together on one plan, he said.

“We’re in sort of a quandary,” Grillon said.

Keegan-Ayer said after the meeting it’s possible the council will have to make more changes to the plan after next week’s public hearing. She added, however, that she wants to have some version of the plan completed by mid-April.

The fate of the plan also depends on whether the Carroll County Board of Commissioners is open to Frederick County’s changes, and still want to work with the council to form one plan, she said.

Keegan-Ayer said she talked to Stephen Wantz, the president of that body, last week. Wantz remained receptive to compromising on the plan, she said.

“I’ve been sending Stephen Wantz all of our stuff,” Keegan-Ayer. “He gets copies of all our amendments, [and] he’s like, you guys are actually doing some interesting things, so maybe I can get my board to move. ... Again, I can’t guarantee Carroll County is going to do anything, but I will always extend the olive branch to see if they’re willing to come along.”

The public hearing on the new proposed 2017 plan will be April 9 at 7 p.m. at Winchester Hall.

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.

(15) comments

MD1756

I think the people downstream would be better off with enforceable regulations rather than all these voluntary elements. Property owners are charged a "rain" tax (if Frederick County a ridiculous $1) and if you have a septic system you're charged a "flush" tax. Crop and livestock farming are the largest contributors of sedimentation, phosphorous and nitrogen to the Monocacy and the Bay yet they pay the least to control the pollution they cause. Time to put the regulations and costs where they belong. Allow for property owners to self certify they are not using chemicals (including animal waste as fertilizer) or are engaged in activities that result in significant sedimentation otherwise, make them install pollution controls.

Hayduke2

Agree MD1756 but that would take guts to enact and would require more personnel to enforce. Ultimately, that is the solution however.

Burgessdr

Kai opposes the word voluntary? Finds it offensive? Very odd.

Hayduke2

Come on Burgess - trying to create outrage where none exists. He didn't oppose the word, he opposed it because it is redundant and not necessary in the context of the document. Be honest.

Tigerzord

Exactly hayduke. This is fake news from Burgess. Kai never said anything about the word being offensive. That's absurd on its face. Kai simply disagreed with our approach to using the word - liberally - throughout the document. It was done with intent. He understood the intent. He just didn't agree with the implementation. Most importantly, at the end of the night, we had a very productive, collegial, and nearly unanimous set of votes on the changes to the 2017 Plan.

Hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup]

stevemckay

PS - that comment was from me, not tigerzord.

Hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup]

KellyAlzan

Huh? Please explain in specificity

stevemckay

Simply means that multiple people use my computer and I forgot to login before commenting

KellyAlzan

To an extent, I think I see what Don is saying.

Why make a policy that is non-enforceable? It then becomes not worth the paper it’s written on.

Just because something is in writing, a policy, a law, a court order, a court consent order, a bylaw, etc., does not mean it’s enforceable. Using the word “voluntary”; serves what purpose in even having any of this?

Hayduke2

I think you missed the point of the comment and intent behind it.

KellyAlzan

No, I posted out of context. Totally got the point!

KellyAlzan

I miss ba’lane young. He sold more FNP subscriptions than anyone ever.

Jim Hartley

It’s satisfying to see what can be accomplished with quiet, thoughtful work. Thank you County Council.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!