Testimony Denied as Board of Appeals OKs Global Mission Church Authorization -- SCA to Appeal
Scenes around the Ag Reserve
At its scheduled February 28 hearing, the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals refused to hear the testimony of co-appellants Sugarloaf Citizens Association's (SCA) and Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA), as well as that of 22 individual witnesses who signed up to testify in support of the appeal and against the GMC project.
If the 118,500 square foot Global Mission Church megacomplex is built on agricultural land in Southern Frederick County, access will be from Old Hundred Road, just west of the I-270/109 interchange in Montgomery County, via a concrete road and bridge across Little Bennett Creek and its floodplain. Its water will be drawn from the Piedmont Sole Source Aquifer and its sewage collected in an unprecedentedly large sand mound septic field adjacent to Little Bennett Creek.
At the February 28 hearing, the five-member Appeals Board accepted arguments by attorneys for GMC that their Board lacked legal jurisdiction to consider evidence that GMC would use far more septic capacity than the maximum permitted 4,999 gallons per day.
Also, the Board voted to dismiss SCA's appeal that the Planning Commission decision is inconsistent with Frederick County's land use master plan, on the grounds that the GMC application is solely governed by an old master plan, ignoring the addition of new acreage not reviewed under their initial application.
On March 11, SCA voted to authorize our counsel to file a Request for Reconsideration with the Board of Appeals and to pursue legal remedies before the Maryland Department of the Environment regarding the Frederick County Health Department's determination on the septic issues.
The proposed GMC megacomplex is not a country church – not with floor space the size of the Nashville Convention Center, impervious parking for hundreds of cars, multiple worship services for thousands, kitchen facilities to serve hundreds, 48 class and meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room and a double gymnasium.
SCA does not intend to rest while any opportunity exists to stop this project from going forward as proposed.
As always, we both welcome and need your insights, your involvement, and your energy.
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