Two attractions in southern Frederick County are especially popular in the Washington metropolitan area — Sugarloaf Mountain and the Monocacy National Battlefield Park. Visitors enjoy them and often linger here for dining or other activities. So besides being a source of pride, these two attractions are a boost to the county's economy. A misstep by county planners has put both these attractions at risk.

In the draft plan for preserving the treasured landscape of Sugarloaf Mountain, planners unaccountably removed from the protection of the plan a 490-acre cutout in its eastern boundary. A single developer owns 380 acres of the cutout, or over 77 percent. Development there would break the long-standing respect for I-270 as separator of intense development to the east from the rural landscape to the west. Once this happens, others will press for equal treatment, and pockets of development can be expected to spread west toward Sugarloaf Mountain, just the situation the Sugarloaf Plan was supposed to avoid.

For the Monocacy National Battlefield Park, nearby development would degrade the experience that park visitors expect. In its rural setting, one can gain a feel for the fierce struggle and brave actions of soldiers in the aptly-named “battle that saved Washington.” Development of nearby properties would make it impossible to picture the conflict and to feel the heroism and sacrifice of those soldiers.

A simple change in the eastern boundary of the Sugarloaf Plan can avoid harm to Sugarloaf Mountain and to the Monocacy National Battlefield Park. Running the eastern boundary of the Sugarloaf Plan along I-270 from the county line to the Monocacy River will accomplish this — a simple change that will be a “twofer,” not just for the county, but for the whole Washington metropolitan area.

County planners and the County Council are eager to hear views on this issue. Contact links are:

(13) comments


Did any of you read the plan? It's all about preservation not development.


Give me a break. We need more MoCo liberals to move in to make Frederick a blue county once in for all. That's the plan from democrats and this democrat controlled administration under Jan Gardner. Get on board or get out of the way! However, I also believe in property rights, and being close to a battlefield isnt the same as being on a battlefield. Progress must continue. That's why progressives exist right? PROGRESS, again, get on board or get out of the way. That was the livable Frederick plan and that is what's happening. It's why you now have a data center brought in without public input. Than JAN and KAI, Fitzwater, and MC! I despise Mike Hough, but I'll vote for him now over any of these fools!


Why do you think you own Frederick County and nobody else is allowed to come here? I have lived in P.G. County, Montgomery County, and worked and lived in Howard County when they went from rural to cosmopolitan. Farmers and folks that lived in those Counties hated to see their Counties turn. Frederick County had the luxury of having 60 years to see what was happening as Suburban Sprawl inched toward their Border and DID NOTHING to stop it. Even in 2000 when Sprawl crossed into Urbana they DID NOTHING to stop it, or at least Plan for orderly development. NOTHING but whine and complain like you are doing today Baba Yaga. What did you do to stop it Baba Yaga? NOTHING! Boo Hoo!


Fido - go back to where you came from - we don't want nor need your liberal butt here. The hypocrisy of the demo's is unbelievable. They talk slow growth and smart growth, but yet, let Natelli have his way. It's incredible, the hypocrisy is rampant. And yes, I grew up here, you didn't!


But JerryR, it wasn’t Liberals that sold Frederick County down the river, it was your people, the Fabulous Four, Young, Delauter, Shreve, and Chmelik. All the out of control, chaotic development going on now was approved under their watch. Montgomery County was blindsided by the developers, they didn’t realize what was happening. Real Liberal Howard County caught on fast, in the 60’s, when Jim Rouse snuck in and bought thousands of acres to develop Columbia. They immediately came up with a 40 year development and zoning plan to restrict dense development to areas served by water and sewer and stuck to it. Every time the developers tried to expand development hoards of citizens armed with Lawyers and planners stormed the hearing room and beat them back. Frederick County still doesn’t have a decent plan. Don’t blame the Liberals, they’re just taking advantage of you Old Timers negligence and greed. Your guys gave YOUR County away. Boo Hoo!! Too bad the Liberals weren’t here to give you a hand.👋🏻


P.S. JerryR, you keep forgetting, I’m no demo, I’m a Republican. P.S.2 All the places I grew up in went first. P.S.3 Again, the Fab Four let Natelli have his way, starting 20 years ago. And you voted for them!😂🤣 Peace.✌️😷


Fido - you are correct, those Ding-a-lings we had for county commissioners sold us out, that's why I voted or Jan. So I owe you an apology on that, please accept it. But it is funny how during our liberal times (now with the council and CE) that they too are falling for the developer shenanigan's and purposely leaving out that piece of property from the protected overlay. There's two sides to every street. You make a good point, water is still a major issue here too. BTW - the liberals' were always here in some way, shape, or form. It's just that now, they are more prevalent. It's a mess. It hurts my heart.


Your rant is one giant contradiction.




My comment was meant for BabaYaga-doo.

To answer your comment, Phy: nothing.


Yeah, I figured that out, thanks. But JerryR didn’t.👍👍👍👍


Not surprising.


That sounds like a reasonable & common sense approach. Thanks for the contacts, let's hope sanity prevails.

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