GMC has submitted a revised site plan. The overview of revisions is here, the full plan is coming soon- at the moment it is too large for our site (much like the building the plans describe). We have not had a chance to go though the many pages of plans yet to look at lingering septic and emergency access issues, but one thing is clear- GMC is still appears un-interested in scaling their plans back. The footprint of the building has been reduced but is still more than 118,000 square feet.
Out of curiosity, we looked into other buildings this size for comparison. Also 118,000 square feet:
-Rowan University’s new state of the art library in New Jersey, a school of 10,000 students.
-The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center in Washington State- the facility recently played host to the America’s Got Talent auditions.
-The proposed new Super Walmart planned for Aspen Hill, Montgomery County, a project that will need a special exception because of its size. (your average Target store is 125,000 square feet.)
GMC has filed a new site plan. We understand that this issue will be addressed within ninety days. Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association and MCA will obtain the relavent documents/plans and make them available online.
Thanks again to the folks that have volunteered their time and expertise to work on this important issue. The goal continues to be to ensure that this project finds a location that is in proximity to transportation and served by public water and sewer. It is perplexing that the applicant has not acknowledged the extreme challenges to a project of this scale at a location with a multitude of challenges including septic, access, topography, master plans, etc.
Sugarloaf Mountain deserve protection. Let’s work together to ensure the beauty and productivity of Frederick and Montgomery’s shared countryside!
We understand that the Global Mission Church has been working on a new submission for their plan for a massive development (138,000 sq feet phase 1 building only) in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain. A new plan will trigger new public hearings in Frederick County. The details of the new application are not currently available. There is, however, no indication that the project will be scaled down. As to the the entrance in Montgomery County and through fragile Little Bennett Creek – nothing in a re-submission could alter the problems that portion of the project will create.
Stakeholders are mobilizing for this next round. Thanks to those who have volunteered their time and talents thus far on legal, planning and environmental issues relating to this ill-conceived project. We will send along action alerts as soon as we get a date for the hearing before the FC Planning Commission and as necessary for action on the Montgomery Side.
For background on this issue click here.
An article from the Washington Post profiles (currently free) software that helps small and mid scale farmers keep tabs on planting, harvesting and selling. It is called AgSquared.
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has recently updated their Maryland Food System map. The interactive map shows data about farms, food access and health in a readily accessible way. The map really shows the intersections of fresh food access and associated diseases (such as diabetes). The full state map grew out of an attempt to map Baltimore’s food deserts.
Some findings from the map are encouraging- our state had 128 farmers markets last year- up from only 65 in 2001. The map also shows the work we have yet to do in keeping farms viable and increasing the number of new farms on the ground.
More layers to the GIS map will be added soon- to see the map click here.
July is ice cream month! In celebration, The Maryland Department of Agriculture decided to officially open Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail. It’s the first ice cream trail in the country to feature dairy farms that produce farm fresh ice cream and serve it directly to the consumer. Maryland has seven creameries in the state that do this, and if you visit all seven before September 7th, you could be named Maryland’s Best 2012 Ice Cream Trailblazer! Anyone interested in a being a Trailblazer can pick up a passport at any of the seven participating creameries – or download one online at: www.marylandsbest.net. The winner will receive a $50 gift card to their favorite creamery!
The Trail recognizes the importance of Maryland’s dairy farms and encourages the public to visit a farm, ask questions, and get to know what dairy farming is all about!