Katie in the Neighborhood

Doing the work.


Below are notes from a recent Community Budget Outreach Forum on December 4, 2021. 

Katie Nash, Alderman-Elect, Community Budget Outreach Forum

December 4, 2021



Katie Nash

Kai Hagen, Frederick County Council

Nan Mann, Office of the hon. Senator Chris Van Hollen

Ed & Maureen Grayzech

Gayle Peterson

Danica Warden

John Funderburk

Vicki Sipes

Robert Van Wrenn

Steve Jakubczyk

Daniela Figuera

Scott Lasher

Willie Mallone, NAACP

Betty Law, Climate Emergency Work Group

Elizabeth Chung, AACF

Karen Thomassen

Eric Steenstra

Tiana Massaquoi

Dr. Bill Reid

Tarolyn Thrasher

Josh Bokee

Sebastian Brown, ACLU/RISE

Cindy Shubin

Karen Cannon, Mobilize Frederick

Alyce Cohen

Kevin Sellner, Climate Emergency Work Group

Julia Schaeffer

Pasto Eliezer Valentin

Randy Johnson

Karen Simpson



Betty Law:

Remove funds for Area B Christopher Crossing, #30016 (budget line item); apply funds from the developer to another portion of the connection outside of area B

Produce an environmental overlay that would show where contaminated ground water may exist; living document accessible on the website

Incorporate environmental review as part of the LMC approval process; it doesn’t exist today

Monitor air quality in high traffic areas

Community Choice Energy (CCE) – explore this option for Frederick as well

Detailed notes are forthcoming


Kevin Sellner (Climate Mobilization Work Group Report):

Create a new staff member as liaison to departments, public and other governmental bodies to help educate, inform via pro-active outreach about environmental actions that could be taken; reside within the Mayor’s communications office

Green Bank Establishment

Establish Food Composting Center

Greater focus on clean energy purchasing

Setting up micro-grid possibilities

Adopting International Energy Construction Code

Go to MobilizeFrederick.org for the climate report


Steve Jackubyzck (NAC 11):

Vacant Property Ordinance now in effect, driven by residents

Revitalize the NAC system


Danica Warden (Each 1, Teach 1):

Works with kids in need on mental health

Uses yoga therapy with kids; started during COVID as outreach; creating a safe space

The program is twice a week; located in the PAL center; working with the housing agency; looking to scale up


Gayle Peterson (Street Safety Gang):

Neighbors coming together to discuss concerns on speeding on local streets; originated on Lee Street

Been in contact with over 800 residents as part of public awareness campaign

Met with Mayor O’Connor in September with the goal to work with him and the next board on this issue

Budget priorities – more communication; CIP allocation for pedestrian safety related measures

Create a dedicated traffic unit within city police

They want to hear “yes” and not just talking from elected officials


Robert Vans Wrenn:

City electoral reform – create city wards to create better representation


Dr. Bill Reid:

Expansion of MARC off the table? There needs to be a way for MARC train expansion to occur. Wants advocacy for MARC train expansion to happen.


Elizabeth Chung:

Greater intentionality of diverse representation of staff and police and how to outreach to communities of color;

Greater focus on health inequities


Nan Mann (Senator Chris Van Hollen’s Office)

Makes everyone aware that the senator’s office is a resource


Pastor Eliezer:

District Representative for Methodist Church


Councilmember Kai Hagen:

Thank you for putting this together, there is a lot of work to do


Willie Mahone (NAACP):

Disparity Study / City Contracting – support from a budget standpoint

Establish reparations commission and how to work collectively to address past wrongs – one example is housing discrimination and subsequently funds made available to help gain homeownership. The commission would start with a study and research first.


Sebastion Brown (ACLU/RISE):

Locate a library on the West End of the city; that is accessible by all families of need who live within the community there



Below, I join a letter requesting a delay in a county vote on the purchase of 26 acres of land on the City's West End. Any residents with questions or thoughts about this issue are welcome to reach out at [email protected] 

October 8, 2021

The Honorable Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer
Winchester Hall
12 E. Church St.
Frederick MD 21701

Re: 800 Oak Street

Dear County Council President Keegan-Ayer and Council Members,

I ask you to reconsider your hurried purchase of 800 Oak Street, 26 acres of land in the City of Frederick. I (and others) would prefer that we, as a community, repurpose larger properties such as this (growth corridor, infrastructure-supported) for creative redevelopment uses; as set forth in both the recently-adopted City and County master planning documents.

City of Frederick staff are at this moment, working diligently to implement the City of Frederick 2020 Comprehensive Plan. There are exciting changes on our horizon to enable us to boldly reimagine properties such as 800 Oak Street. In fact, the City has issued a Request for Proposal (Form-Based Code Consultant RFP 22-B) regarding the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan and the integration of form-based code (FBC). In the near term, the FBC will be integrated into the City of Frederick’s existing regulatory framework (zoning and land development regulations) and this will include overlay zones.

FBC will regulate development to ensure high-quality public spaces defined by a variety of building types and uses including housing, retail, and office space. The new code will incorporate a regulating plan, building form standards, street standards (plan and section), use regulations as needed, descriptive building or lot types (optional), and other elements needed to implement the principles of urbanism. Residents are asking for creativity and happily, this is the immediate direction the City of Frederick is headed with respect to our planning and zoning.

Similar to the City, Frederick County adopted the Livable Frederick Master Plan (Livable Frederick) - a fantastic document. The Plan highlights the City of Frederick as “a major regional center for business, institutions, residential living, and culture” and the Plan offers an assumption that the “growth potential of areas within and surrounding the city is maximized to create an even stronger urban center boasting walkable neighborhoods, historic character, and thriving commercial districts” (page 3). Recognizing that growth would occur along the I-270 corridor, Livable Frederick (and the talented team who worked to draft and approve the plan) smartly identified “the Interstate Corridor”. The map on page 45 of Livable Frederick seemingly includes 800 Oak Street within this corridor identified for growth and development along Interstate 270. The Plan clearly states that the Interstate Corridor “emphasizes transit oriented, mixed-use development… as a prime employment corridor enhanced by livable, mixed use neighborhoods between the City of Frederick and northern Montgomery County.” The Plan pointedly discusses the emphasis on walkable, mixed-use, higher density development for this corridor and articulates a broad community vision that we must be strategic in our redevelopment of sites. Also, while the County’s acquisition of 800 Oak Street will relocate existing County jobs to this location, we lose the opportunity to attract a new employer to this location (possibly within the growing biotech/life sciences industry - industries growing in neighboring jurisdictions). This should give us all pause and we should truly analyze the regional economic impact in making this decision.

If you will not pause your decision, I ask you to oppose the purchase as presented. Both planning documents were created for decision points such as these and the County’s specified possible plans for 800 Oak Street fail to meet the aspiration set forth in our adopted guidance. Talented members of our community worked to draft Livable Frederick and the 2020 Comprehensive Plan. As we learn and evolve to a post-pandemic economy, this is the perfect time to collaborate to redevelop large parcels such as this. Our residents want us to discard yesterday’s land use decision-making we know won’t help us meet our sustainability and equity mandates.

Our residents also want us to think differently and creatively, and act with transparency. More information, additional channels for public feedback, publishing data and analysis - we would all benefit from this work. I ask the members of the Frederick County Council to not only extend local courtesy to the municipality you serve, but additionally consider leveraging the talent within our community to “think big” and take action to embrace the adopted bold vision for this location.

Respectfully Yours,

Katie Nash

1024 Dulaney Mill Drive, Frederick MD 21702

Cc: Mayor Michael O’Connor
County Council Members, Frederick County
President Pro Tem Kelly Russell
Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak
Alderman Ben MacShane
Alderman Derek Shackelford

P.S. The City has requested information from the County - I ask that the County please provide the information that has been requested. That information, summarized from the October 5th letter, was:

  • any analysis the County had made regarding consolidation and the short- and long-term impacts of this consolidation;
  • the County’s Expression of Interest/contingent contract letter;
  • minutes/notes from the County’s public tour of the facility;
  • copies of any analysis from County staff or other entities regarding the property;
  • any documentation that will provide clarification regarding the County’s intentions for the property;
  • and any other information requested by City elected leaders.


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