HAMPSTEAD — The fourth annexation request to come before the Town Council in thelast year could allow a Westminster developer to split 21.7 acres now zoned for agriculture into as many as 36 housing lots.
This latest request comes from Thomas A. Matthews, a developer who bought the property from the estate of Richard C. Rill in September. Matthews plans to split the land into lots for housing, his lawyer told the TownCouncil Monday.
The land along Shiloh Road borders the recently annexed 127-acre property to be developed by Claude B. Widerman and his partners.
If the town annexes the land, Matthews would be able to put up to 36 lots on it, although there will likely be fewer after subtracting landfor open space, septic systems and other requirements, said his lawyer, John T. Maguire II of Westminster.
If the town does not annex the land, county zoning regulations will allow only seven lots.
Maguire said the Matthews annexation would alleviate road access problems with the Widerman development by allowing a road to stretch from the Widerman property to Shiloh Road.
"This is really nothing more than the logical extension of the
western part of the Widerman property," Maguire said.
Maguire also will represent Matthews before the town's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Hall.
The request before the Town Council Monday was the first step in annexation. The Planning and Zoning Commission now must review it and make a recommendation. The town must also consider comments from other state and county school, planning and roads departments.
Mayor C. Clinton Becker said he is opposed to the town's annexation of agricultural land but noted that he has no vote in the matter, which ultimately is in the hands of the Town Council.
Becker said he believes agricultural land should be preserved for farming.
Rill had farmed the property, which now contains a log house, a barn and some wooden sheds, Maguire said.
Annexation requests passed with little opposition for the Widerman and Oakmont residential developments, both of which were on residentially zoned land, and for a more recent annexation of industrially zoned land just south of the town.
Maguire said Matthews is asking to be connected to town watersupplies but not to the sewer system. Maguire said town and county master plans may not allow the
addition of agricultural land to the sewer system.
Rather than create a problem, he said, Matthews iswilling to put in septic systems for whatever houses are built.
With the smallest lot being a half-acre, or 20,000 square feet, Maguire said the homes to be built would probably be for single families and more expensive than the 290 homes proposed for the Widerman development. Widerman's development would have one house per 10,000 square feet.