Mount Airy council delays action on annexation request

November 08, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

The Mount Airy Town Council has sent an annexation-rezoning request on the 126-acre Doub Farm back to the planning and zoning commission, after the owners asked to add a "justification statement" to the application.

The statement shows how the annexation could benefit the town, said Doug Trettien of VanMar Associates Inc., a landscape architect and planner who represents the property's owners at town meetings.

A justification statement "is information the planning commission didn't have the benefit of," he told the council Monday night.

Commission members have recommended that the council deny the request, saying that property closer to town should be

annexed first. The farm lies east of Watersville Road.

Members were also concerned about steep slopes, wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas on the property.

"[Town planner] Teresa [Bamberger] keeps looking at it in terms of the problems one has with developing that property," Mr. Trettien said. "I don't dispute that it is a difficult piece to develop. But it's not going to be high-density development based on the slopes and the vegetation.

Mr. Trettien said that he would have pointed out that annexation would give the town control of an approximately mile-long stretch along the Patapsco River for hiking and recreation.

The owners, Doub's Farm Venture Limited Partnership Inc., are now offering to give that land to the town. The stretch varies from 100 to 300 feet in width.

Other potential benefits of annexation for the town are three potential wells that could increase the town's water supply and the ability to coordinate the entrance road with the Stevens property that adjoins the farm, Mr. Trettien said. The Stevens property has been annexed but not developed.

Town employees said a justification statement had already been submitted with the request. "Part of the petition is listing certain facts why it would be good or bad for the town," said Ms. Bamberger. "It's basically a matter of semantics.

"The couple of points that were added are rebuttals to what was in the staff report."

In fact, Mr. Trettien said that the statement does not differ much from his arguments at the planning and zoning commission meeting.

"[The statement] has been expanded slightly," he said. "It's probably better to have something written down. "You can present something at a meeting, but I'm not sure what the level of retention there is."

The next planning and zoning commission meeting is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Mount Airy town office.

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