Stronghold, Inc., the owner and operator of Sugarloaf Mountain, made the following comment after action by the Frederick County Council to remand the overlay placed in the Sugarloaf Treasured Landscape Management Plan back to the planning commission.
“For three years we laid out our concerns to the county and the numerous organizations claiming to know what’s best for our private property, only to be ignored. It didn’t take long to see that our own county government had no intention of working with us, but instead was singularly focused on their own desired result.
“There’s a difference between inviting us to a meeting to tell us what they are going to do and actually working with us to find a solution. It’s just as disappointing to see organizations that claim they are trying to protect the mountain not even listen to our point of view and the ramifications that the plan as originally drafted would have had on our operations and the risks that Stronghold would incur.
“So, while better late than never, tonight’s action to remand the overlay back to the planning commission comes after the council began understanding and seeing the risks to our operations.
“It has always been our wish to keep Sugarloaf Mountain open to the public, but only if it meant upholding the vision laid out so thoughtfully and meticulously by Gordon Strong. Thankfully, Councilmembers Fitzwater, Dacey, and Blue, along with President Keegan-Ayer, heard our concerns and ensured that Gordon Strong’s Sugarloaf Mountain will be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
“Stronghold has been the guardian of this land for eight decades, all while providing educational opportunities and natural beauty to millions of visitors to our property. We will work each day to uphold the trust that the council placed in us to continue our long-standing track record of stewardship of Sugarloaf Mountain for the public to hike, learn and enjoy.”