Sugarloaf Mountain Owner Will Close Mountain to Public if Frederick County Council Does Not Amend County Plan

10/19 Update: The Frederick County Council unanimously voted to postpone its decision on a plan to preserve Sugarloaf Mountain and its surrounding area during its meeting on Tuesday, October 18th. The vote on the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan will now take place on October 25th.

Stronghold,  a non-profit corporation organized in 1946 by the late Gordon Strong, owns and operates the Sugarloaf mountain property “for the public’s enjoyment and education in an appreciation of natural beauty.” The Frederick County Council is scheduled to vote in today’s meeting (October 18th) on whether to approve the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan that includes standards for development in the plan area and prohibits certain uses, including carnivals, shooting ranges and landfills, per the Frederick News Post.

At last week’s Frederick County Council meeting, attorney Noel Manalo, representing Stronghold, said, “If the Sugarloaf plan as presented for public hearing on Oct. 11 passes, Stronghold will cease allowing general public access to Sugarloaf Mountain, a privately owned property, to allow Stronghold to evaluate the effects of the plan on its operations, but if modifications are made to the plan prior to final passage, Stronghold will reevaluate its decision.

According to the Frederick News Post article, Frederick County Councilman Phil Dacey, R, proposed that the council exempt Stronghold’s 3,400 acres from the overlay, which covers the entire 20,000-acre plan area. County Councilman Steve McKay, R, introduced an amendment to strike 45 acres of Stronghold’s land from the overlay district. The council voted 6-1 against Dacey’s amendment and 4-3 against McKay’s. The full plan can be seen here and the Frederick County Council is scheduled to vote on it in today’s meeting.

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