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Land Use of 2,200-Acre Site Holds Up 'Livable Frederick' Plan in Western Maryland

City councilmembers are debating the future of a 2,200-acre former aluminum smelting plant in Frederick, Maryland. The debate centers on the viability of the parcel as transit-oriented development.
August 21, 2019, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Carroll Creek runs through Downtown Frederick.
Jon Bilous

City councilmembers are debating the future of a 2,200-acre former aluminum smelting plant in Frederick, Maryland. The debate centers on the viability of the parcel as transit-oriented development.

Steve Bohnel reports on a controversial component of the Livable Frederick plan, under debate in the Maryland city located proximate to both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. 

The issue at hand is a former aluminum smelting plant and 2,200 surrounding acres. The site has been dormant for two decades, according to an article by Steve Bohnel, but the Livable Frederick plan "labels the area of the county as a possible 'new town' and location for multimodal accessibility."

The designation has split the Frederick City Council. Some question whether the nearby MARC rail spur (with service to Washington, D.C.) is adequate to serve as a commuter rail station for a potential mixed-use development.

Councilmember Steve McKay (R) in July drafted an amendment that would change the land use designation for the parcel "aimed to promote commercial and industrial development, while encouraging future planners to preserve the nearly 2,000 acres of farmland surrounding the Eastalco site," according to Bohnel. In addition to the coverage on the amendment linked above, Bohnel provides additional context for the debate in an article published earlier in July.

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 in The Frederick News-Post
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