In a unanimous decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals — the highest court in the State — ruled for Frederick County in a long-running legal battle regarding the zoning of 450 acres of agricultural land in the southeastern part the County, often referred to as the Monrovia Town Center.
The project was first approved by the last Board of County Commissioners in 2013. The zoning change for Monrovia Town Center from Agriculture to Planned Unit Development cleared the way for the construction of more than 1200 new homes.
After a series of legal challenges, a circuit court judge vacated the zoning change and sent the matter back to the County Council, which determined that the developers had to resubmit their zoning application.
In a 50-page decision, the Court of Appeals said the Frederick County Council was within its rights to conduct a new hearing on the developers’ rezoning application after a lower court found a violation of the County’s Ethics Statute.
The developers chose not to participate in the new rezoning hearing. As a result, the land maintains its agricultural zoning, and the Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreement and Letter of Understanding are null and void.
“This is a huge win for the people of Monrovia,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “The County joined with citizens to ensure good government and open, public processes prevailed.”