SCUBA DIve (copy)

Woodsboro-area resident Brad Hill hopes to create a scuba diving center revolving around this reservoir north of his mining operation and Md. 550 that could be home to diving lessons, sessions and related attractions.

Only a major partner working with Frederick County Council Vice President Michael Blue (R) testified at a meeting Tuesday about a zoning change that would allow scuba diving near his quarry east of Woodsboro.

Brad Hill, who owns Comus Construction, thanked Blue and the rest of the council for their work and for getting to “learn about” the government process.

The proposal for opening a scuba center and related attractions has been a joint venture between Blue, Hill and Baltimore-area scuba instructor Matt Skogebo. Hill, Skogebo, members of the county’s Planning and Permitting Division and others were present at Tuesday’s public hearing.

Blue, Skogebo and Hill worked for months with county staff reviewing the county’s mineral mining code, and drafting language allowing a scuba diving center and related attractions, The Frederick News-Post previously reported.

The proposal, which includes the scuba facility, an ecology center, RV parking, a clubhouse/restaurant and other components, is estimated to cost around $30 million.

Blue said Tuesday all the feedback he’s received from council members and the public about the proposal has been positive. He added he doesn’t anticipate any major changes before his bill reaches a vote.

The bill currently defines a scuba facility as “Any building, structure or area of land and water that is used for scuba diving education and recreation” and stipulates that the site:

  • Uses an open-pit mine fed by a natural spring.
  • Has setbacks of 50 feet from all property lines, and 300 feet from all mineral mining, extraction, processing and hauling equipment.
  • Receives approval from the Maryland Department of the Environment prior to site plan approval.

Councilman Phil Dacey (R) said the project has could increase tourism in the northern part of the county, especially given there aren’t many diving centers in the region, Dacey added.

“It’s a hidden gem in Frederick County,” Dacey said, adding that he recently toured the property. “It’s beautiful, and I think the potential there is incredible.”

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.

(1) comment

Whatsup

Best of luck with your venture!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominem criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.