HAMPSTEAD — The town limits will extend a thousand feet further south and include several new industries if all goes as developer Charles Harwood hopes.
The Town Council last night approved a resolution to begin theannexation of 45 acres just south of Roberts Field and the Spring Garden Elementary School. The land is zoned for industry, and that's just as Harwood wants it.
"My long-term plan is to develop the land and subdivide it into industrial lots for sale to users and developers," Harwood said.
Harwood lives in Upperco and is president of Pembroke Development in Owings Mills, specializing in industrial and commercial projects. Thiswould be his first project in Carroll County, he said.
He said the lots in Hampstead would attract companies already in Carroll as well as new ones put off by the expense and lack of good industrial lotsin the Owings Mills area of Baltimore County.
"Nothing is recession-proof. How well the market is doing will dictate when the propertyactually gets developed," he said. Although some companies have expressed interest, Harwood has no firm offers, he said.
"I think companies will be attracted to Carroll County in general because of the work force here. There are lots of people going to Baltimore County and Baltimore to work," Harwood said.
The annexation would cover 36 acres of property now owned by Helen Hoffman of Hampstead but which Harwood wants to buy. Also, the three owners of a total of nine more adjacent acres are asking to be annexed along with the Hoffman land. The remaining three lots are owned by Maurice Hampshire, Charles Bosley of Bosley Construction Co. and Grove Brothers Inc. construction.
"It just makes sense that when doing any annexation, you ask all (adjacent) landowners whether they want to go in on it," Harwood said.
Town Manager John Riley said he sees no potential problems with theannexation, which takes four to six months.
The town now must advertise its intent to annex the land in local newspapers once a week for four consecutive weeks. The town will conduct a public hearing in April, just before the Town Council meeting. After the meeting, the annexation becomes official in 45 days, unless the public mounts a referendum campaign defeating it.
In the meantime, the town must present documents of its ability to provide services -- such as police, fire, water and sewer -- to the land. The documents go to county and state planning agencies, the County Commissioners and the Regional Council of Governments.
Riley said the annexation would benefit the town's tax base without putting as much demand on services as residential development.
Mayor Richard E. Miller said the move also may bring jobs to the county and give the town a say in what happens to theland.
"The nice thing about annexation is the town is a part of the decision-making process for what goes there," Miller said.
The only objection to the proposed annexation came from a Hampstead resident who said she preferred to see the town remain primarily residential.
"Hopefully, it will create more jobs and more people will workhere and live here," Miller said.
The town has annexed two other plots in the last year, both residential.