A bill introduced Tuesday could alter the business landscape in Frederick County’s mixed-use zones, if ultimately adopted.

Frederick County Council President Bud Otis introduced a proposal that would allow wholesaling, warehouse and distribution in the county’s mixed-use areas. The bill was designed with Jefferson Tech Park in mind.

“I just feel we have all this space over there that’s for a very limited use,” he said after the council meeting.

He added that there is less demand for office space now that more people work from home or work out of smaller spaces.

The developer of the park was arranging to bring in several distribution-based jobs, according to Otis and requested a change to the zoning to allow that to happen.

When asked if he thought warehouse and distribution activities might cause concerns among residential neighbors, Otis responded that he didn’t think there would be a problem because the residential and commercial area were not too close together and the business activities would take place indoors.

Public comment and a vote on the bill will be held at a future date.

Myersville annex approved

The council unanimously approved the annexation of a small parcel of land into Myersville and variance in zoning, opening the way for a development of up to five lots.

The town on Oct. 10 moved to add 4 acres to its limits at the request of David Ramsey, who owns about half of the land to be annexed along Easterday Road.

Because the area is zoned to have no more than 3.6 dwellings per acre, the county had to vote to approve a denser development.

The approval gives the developer five years to move forward on the project.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(7) comments

FrederickFan

I'm shocked and disappointed that Bud Otis thinks a distribution center is a "high tech" business, and that he sees no problems putting 45,000 lb tractor trailers on the same roads with soccer moms and strollers.

This will definitely hurt property values for the existing residents, and cast a dark cloud over anyone considering any other use, residential or high tech, for this area. It will also set a dangerous precedent, that anyone can change important zoning anytime, to mix residential with industrial or commercial. This is certainly not the tech employment we were promised by Blaine Young and Kirby Delauter.

What is really going on here? Does Otis have a developer lined up, willing to trade campaign $ in exchange for Otis's support for subverting well established County zoning laws? Otis's plan will put citizens and risk, establish a horrible precedent, and destroy property values.

What is happening to Bud Otis? Why betray voters now, just 10 months before the next election? Is he hoping no one will notice?

rbtdt5

On the city level Kelly, Mike and Donna all voted for this. They are putting industrial right in the middle of the new neighborhoods on East Church street. They all got reelected. No one cares until it happens in their neighborhood

FrederickFan

I have to agree with you when it comes to the City. The City just agreed to a new development that will go right up against Route 15, and they asked the developer for no money, NOTHING to help with the death traps which are Route 15 interchanges. CE Gardner had a deal in place that required the developer to contribute to the interchanges, and the Aldermen and Mayor just let it slip through their fingers.

sue1955

"...we have all this space over there..." well, further development to be take place if this gets approved. Where's Jan on this issue? It's a shame that there is still activity going on to turn every green space into some sort of development. All of these small, quaint towns looked at as just more urban sprawl.

FrederickFan

CE Gardner has submitted several bills to the County Council that among other things, require residential developers to replace each tree they destroy when grading for a new community. So far, Council President Bud Otis has not allowed her bills to be heard by the Council.

KellyAlzan

Jefferson Tech Park and the proposed downtown hotel. Both paid for with money from state coffers.

pfitzgerald

On JTP, I guess hundreds of trucks a day delivering goods and services is considered a "business activity" to some. This section of Rt. 340 could become a choke point as bad as Rt. 85 with warehouse/distribution development. Bad idea; I guess they'll want us to pay to widen the bridge, too. [ohmy]

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