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Judge weighs dismissal of Frederick growth dispute

FREDERICK — A Frederick County judge is considering dismissing a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups challenging the county’s plan to increase development potential by about 50 percent.

The Frederick News-Post reports that Circuit Judge Julie Solt will issue a written opinion based on arguments she heard Tuesday.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Audubon Society of Central Maryland are among the plaintiffs seeking to stop the all-Republican Board of County Commissioners from rewriting a comprehensive land-use plan adopted in 2010 by their slow-growth predecessors.

The Maryland Department of Planning supports the plaintiffs’ claim that population projections don’t justify the proposed increase in development potential. The changes could add as many as 17,000 more homes.

The county’s lawyer says the lawsuit is premature and contradicts the commissioners’ right to legislate.