Mount Airy's planning and zoning commission last night unanimously recommended denying the Doub's Farm annexation and rezoning request because the negative effects outweighs benefits to the town.
The 126-acre Doub's Farm tract, located southeast of Watersville Road, is currently zoned agricultural in Carroll County.
To annex it, the county would have to waive its five-year waiting period for development.
The owners, Doub's Farm Venture Limited Partnership, have asked the commission to rezone the land for low-density housing. The low-density residential designation usually allows about three houses per acre. But steep slopes and woodland that might have to be saved could reduce the density to 1.5 or 1.75 houses per acre, officials said.
"For low density, you have to have an average lot size of 18,000 square feet," said town planner Teresa Bamberger.
The town could gain park land along the Patapsco River that might eventually connect with a rails-to-trails path running from Mount Airy to Sykesville, she said.
Also, two potential primary wells and one potential secondary well have been identified by R. E. Wright, a consulting service, in an independent water survey for the town, Ms. Bamberger said.
But she suggested that the commission should wait until building begins on about 500 acres between the farm and current housing in town to ensure orderly development.
Ms. Bamberger said, too, that she was concerned about limited accessibility to the property on the lone road that leads to it, because other anticipated residential development in the area could create a problem of heavy traffic.