Frederick leaders have at last approved a plan to begin developing a 136-acre park on property the city purchased almost a decade ago west of the city. That’s good news.

While the city has taken steps toward developing the property — budgeting for road improvements on the adjacent Md. 180 and approving a bond re-funding to allow public/private partnerships — endorsing a master plan for the site seemed to stall amid disagreements about how ambitious it should be.

Late last year, city aldermen declined to accept or reject a development plan that was written by Laurel-based consultant G.E. Fielder & Associates because it contained too many moving parts and at too steep a cost. That concept, with a price tag of $98.5 million, included 11 multi-purpose sports fields, a 4,000-seat stadium, a 60,000-square-foot swimming center, a water park and all the trimmings.

The plan city leaders approved last week still has plenty of options, but they’re just that — options. The new plan lacks the previous plan’s precision but allows a more gradual build-out and doesn’t commit to expensive features that might never get built.

That’s understandable, but we hope city leaders continue to work to sell the idea of a regional park with plenty of amenities to city residents. The city of Frederick has no shortage of walking trails and picnic areas; what it needs is a well-developed regional park with an broad range of facilities for recreational activities.

We applaud the city’s taking this first step toward developing the Hargett Farm property. The city paid $18 million for this park. It’s time city residents got to enjoy it.

(6) comments

elymus43

The city taxpayers should wake up and say NO to the idea. Sell the Hargett Farm ASAP.

gardenwhimsey

They should sell the property and use the money to fund bulk pickup within the city.

gary4books

A good park on the west side will be a draw for many potential customers for businesses on Patrick and close. It is time to give this area some recreational sites. It will be worth it.

DickD

The area definitely needs a park, Gary, but how will that bring business? It is also a high crime area.

gary4books

Lots of customers bring business and crime is mostly at times when there are few people. I suspect that the more people we have, the less crime we will experience in that neighborhood. We might even put the crooks to honest work.

matts853

What it needs first and foremost is an indoor pool.

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