Monrovia Town Center: A Benefit or a Blight?


Rachael McDonald

Machines have begun to clear the land for the twon center.

Bethany Straus

Recently, there has been much debate in Frederick County over the development of the Monrovia Town Center Planned Unit Development (PUD). Residents of Frederick County have taken to petitioning and displaying signs to advertise either their support or opposition of the Town Center.

The Monrovia Town Center PUD will bring about 1,500 new homes to Monrovia; density is estimated to be as high as 9 single-family and multi-family dwelling units per acre. The Town Center will also feature nearly 200,000 square feet of commercial space.

A site of twenty-five acres will be dedicated for the construction of a community park, while another four acres will be dedicated to the construction of a fire and rescue site for the relocations of the Green Valley Station. A potential water tank site will also be dedicated if needed.

The town center will span across 457 acres, stretching across the west-east collector road connecting Ed McClain Rd and MD 75, the east-west collector road connecting Weller Road to MD 75, the MD 75/MD 80 intersection, and the MD 75/MD 80 corridor. The Town Center will affect the population of multiple school districts, including Green Valley Elementary School, Windsor Knolls Middle School, Linganore High School, and Urbana High School.

A site of at least fifty acres will be dedicated for the construction of a new high school. However, the actual construction of a high school will not be included with the construction of the Town Center.

There is no denying that the Monrovia Town Center PUD will cause a significant increase in the local population. This has many local residents worried about the possible effects of a higher population.

“If built, the Monrovia Town Center will bring a higher population and crime rate in Monrovia, making the area much more inner-city,” said Urbana senior Chrysanthi Lundstedt. “I think [the supporters and developers of the town center] fully understand the negatives of its construction, but they think it will be fine. I think the people who support [the town center’s construction] do not actually live in Monrovia like I do.”

“I am concerned because I do not like how Clarksburg was developed and I am afraid that unless [the Monrovia Town Center PUD] is well planned that it will turn into another issue like that,” said Monrovia resident Donna Schofield. “I am also concerned about schools, roads, and traffic issues.”

“I feel like there are promises for things like schools, but is there enough money for it? There are plenty of promises, but can we really depend on that?” said Schofield. “I have been here for thirteen years and last week the barn across the street was leveled. It was pretty sad to see.”

However, not all Monrovia residents are opposed to the development of the Monrovia Town Center PUD. Local Historian Michael Coccagna said, “It may be good for the area. It could bring new infrastructure and retail to the area, and that would be more convenient for local residents.”

Coccagna also added that “the negatives [of the town center] are that it would bring a heavier population and the infrastructure does not already exist.”

While the public debate over the Monrovia Town Center PUD began fairly recently, the plans for the town are far from new. “Most people seem to think that [the town center] is a recent development but it has been in planning for about ten years with the Frederick County Board of Commissioners.” said Coccagna.

Construction of the Monrovia Town Center PUD will take time to complete, allowing local residents to rally support or opposition for the town center. Events such as petition drives, rallies, and community meetings have been taking place throughout the community to draw either support or protest of the town center.

While certain groups such as Residents Against Land Expansion (also known as RALE) rely on the fact that the town center will take time to complete, there is no guarantee that preventing the town center’s completion will be possible. Only time will tell how the community will be able to adapt to the changes ushered in by the Monrovia Town Center PUD.