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Act now to protect Sugarloaf Country! (MD)

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  • Act now to protect Sugarloaf Country! (MD)

    Breaking News! Act now to protect treasured Sugarloaf Country!
    Frederick County Planning Commission's important proposal for a "Reserve" aimed at protecting the Sugarloaf Mountain Region is now in the hands of the FredCo Board of County Commissioners. We ask that you write in support of this initiative before June 20th.
    Why This Matters:
    * Despite decisive action to protect farmland by the BOCC and Planning Commission, an Agricultural Zoning designation in FredCo does not effectively
    keep land in agriculture by prohibiting large scale institutional development.
    * Without this new policy, the area proposed for the Reserve designation is under threat from a number of huge development proposals that impact both
    sides of the county line. Current proposals seek buildings in excess of 100,000 square feet! This pressure will only increase as large uses seek to move further and further out of populated areas to land they deem more affordable.
    * As Kai Hagen, BOCC member, says, "we don't want the (MoCo) Ag Reserve to be an island" surrounded by sprawl. This initiative represents real cross-county stewardship - with regional benefit.
    * The United States is, according to American Farmland Trust, 13 million acres short of the land needed to grow our food.
    This Plan Would:
    * Establish an "Environment and Natural Resource" Reserve for the area east of the Monocacy River, west of 270, and North of the MoCo line.
    * Lend further protection to Sugarloaf Mountain, the Monocacy Battlefield, the land surrounding the Monocacy River, as well as hundreds of acres currently in farming.
    * Effectively reign in non-agricultural development with specific height and footprint limits for buildings, preserving more land for what it is zoned for: farming and open space.
    Please see the proposal details here <http://e2ma.net/go/8368859446/288438...7/goto:http:/\
    _1_.pdf> .
    To see our rough rendering, and we mean rough, of the proposed Reserve area, click here <http://e2ma.net/go/8368859446/288438...7/goto:http:/\
    /files.e2ma.net/25027/assets/docs/fredco_reserve_snip.pdf> (not
    an official map)
    Press on the formation of this proposal here.
    The climate is right for a landmark proposal of this kind, the current BOCC members have made respectable gains in land protection. Clearly, the public is eager for this measure to move forward quickly. 2010 can became an historic year for Frederick County and the region, a year that marks commitment to both
    residents now and future generations.
    Action Needed!
    The Board of County Commissioners will vote on moving ahead with the proposal by the end of June (exact date not yet available).
    Your emails in support to each commissioner are needed now to move the proposal along. You do not need to live in Frederick County to write in! However, if you have Frederick County contacts, please encourage them to make their voice heard!
    Email the Frederick County Commissioners with your support for the "Environmental and Natural Resource Reserve," please cc any emails to info@mocoalliance.org <mailto:info@mocoalliance.org> :
    Jan H. Gardner: jgardner@FrederickCountyMD.gov
    David P. Gray: dgray@FrederickCountyMD.gov
    Kai J. Hagen: khagen@FrederickCountyMD.gov
    John L. Thompson, Jr.: lthompson@FrederickCountyMD.gov
    Blaine R. Young: byoung@FrederickCountyMd.gov
    Suggested talking points:
    * The area in question lies above highly fractured geology and the federally designated Piedmont Sole Source Aquifer
    s-groundwater/> - conditions that make large scale development a
    real threat to area wells.
    * The need for farmland and natural resource preservation knows no political boundaries, Frederick County has the chance to build on the success of the Ag Reserve to protect the farmland they still have.
    * Ever-growing demand for local food in Frederick County requires that farmland be available for the next generation of table crop producers. Currently both Frederick County Farmers Markets and Food Banks have unmet demand.
    * The Sugarloaf Mountain region is treasured for its preservation of historic landmarks, natural resources, vistas, trails and roadways. It is a regional destination that deserves long term preservation!
    * The 20-Year comprehensive plan contains a directive to establish this zoning classification <http://e2ma.net/go/8368859446/288438...7/goto:http:/\
    urNaturalResourcesAndGreenInfrastructure.PDF> (p27, last line),
    this specific area meets all the requirements for increased protection laid out in the plan, please apply this proposed special designation now, before and not after acres are lost to large scale development.
    * Large scale uses require large scale services, concentrating these uses where services already exist represents a cost savings to taxpayers and FC. It simply makes sense to concentrate large development where services exist to support it.
    * Tell them what this area m eans to you and your family...give details. Have your children write about their special experiences there. This would be a great start of summer mini-project for kids -writing and engaging in local government.

    With Appreciation,
    Montgomery Countryside Alliance
    Montgomery Countryside Alliance
    P.O Box 120 - Boyds, MD 20841 - 301-349-5021
    email: info@mocoalliance.org <mailto:info@mocoalliance.org>
    Appy Trails,
    Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
    member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org