Frederick County Council members decided a major roadway should be completed before construction begins on an age-restricted development that could add up to 600 homes in the Lake Linganore area.
Council members voted 6-1 Tuesday to require Lake Linganore Boulevard, which would start from Meadow Road from the west, loop around Oakdale Elementary School and connect to the Linganore Town Center, to be completely finished before a plat of land is rezoned for the development. Council Vice President Michael Blue (R) was the lone dissenting vote.
The rezoning would change just over 160 acres from agricultural land to a planned unit development (PUD), along with a possible site for a public library.
Councilman Jerry Donald (D) was initially not going to support the rezoning, but the Lake Linganore Boulevard condition changed his mind.
“There’s not a single person who lives within 10 miles of that area that doesn’t want to see that road [Lake Linganore Boulevard] entirely completed before other people keep dumping on it,” Donald said of the possibility of developer Elm Street Communities appealing the condition. “So why don’t we go for what we want and see what happens?”
Council members also expressed concern that part of Lake Linganore Boulevard would have to go through land owned by the Board of Education, which could create complications.
Councilman Phil Dacey (R) said he supported pursuing eminent domain to build the roadway, if necessary.
“That’s what eminent domain was created for ... I know it’s been expanded for economic development and other things, but it’s a road that we need,” Dacey said. “So I don’t have any problems with saying I’d be in favor of utilizing eminent domain.”
Councilman Steve McKay (R) said it would be a “horrible Plan B” to use eminent domain if the Board of Education wasn’t willing to work with the developer or county.
The council also approved conditions stating the developer must allow staff to tour the site of the development, if historical items, burial grounds or similar sites are found, before any land grading occurs.
They will continue their discussion of possible conditions on the development and possibly vote on the rezoning next Tuesday.