UNION BRIDGE — If the 110-acre Phillips property is annexed and developed, the town's population of 917 could double.
Most of the approximately 50 people who filled the Community Center Monday night for a second publichearing on the proposal voiced opposition to annexing the property, north of town along Route 75.
Kent and Deborah Doxzon of Bark Hill Road said they feared that traffic and school overcrowding would follow such a development.
Emil White of Route 75 expressed concerns about increased taxes and strains on the town water supply.
Edward Hyson worried about dynamite, which builders are using to get through layers of rock.
"They are already dynamiting on Elwood's (Myers) property on Route 75, and that's right in front of this whole development," said Hyson. "It's going to break windows and loosen foundations."
Hyson, who lives in a150-year-old home on Phillips Lane, also complained that the town still does not know how many houses will eventually be built on the site.
Zoning restrictions now limit the number to four units per acre.
"That could mean roughly 440 houses," said Town Attorney John T.Maguire II. "But developers rarely get the maximum density.
"Before building, they also would have to get approval from the town Planning and Zoning Board."
Most said they could have reread the same comments they prepared for previous public hearings.
"This has beengoing on for two years," said Deborah Doxzon.
"There are no new angles for us to discuss. It all boils down to the same thing."
Doxzon said she fears the comments may be falling on deaf ears.
The mayor and council, who plan to vote on the annexation at the April 27 session, have already decided in favor of the annexation, she said.
"Not true," said Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. "About 20 years ago, theywanted us to annex 400 acres and the council turned them down."
Other council members said they had not discussed their opinions with others and are keeping their options open.
"I don't know why people think we have made up our minds," said Councilman Scott W. Davis. "We came here tonight to listen."
Virgil Cain, a senior at Francis Scott Key High, said he has lived in the town his entire life and doesn't want its essential character to change.
"I walk down the street and I know everybody," he said. "I can't imagine having this development come right up to my back yard."
Jo Israelson, who is renovating a home here, asked the council to vote no now and look at other options.
"I have watched what has happened to the land when development begins," said Israelson, who plans to move here from Washington.
"There are many homes here we could renovate and use."