Planners recommend committee to link Mount Airy, Frederick Co. SOUTHWEST--Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

September 03, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

A committee should be appointed to improve coordination of planning between Mount Airy and Frederick County, town and county planners say.

Such a committee, planners say, would identify any land in Frederick County that could be annexed to Mount Airy and would form policies for both jurisdictions to follow as development occurs on those parcels. The town straddles the Frederick-Carroll county border.

The Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended that the Town Council appoint a committee to draw up an annexation agreement between the municipality and the county. The Frederick commissioners have made the same recommendation.

Walkersville and Frederick have such agreements with the county.

Mount Airy Town Planner Teresa Bamberger noted instances in which the town would have been better served by closer coordination between the town and Frederick County. For instance, town officials would have liked to have had a road built connecting the Twin Ridge subdivision in Mount Airy with an adjacent housing development in the county.

A connecting road would have allowed Twin Ridge children to walk to Twin Ridge Elementary School and would have given parents a quicker route to the school. Now, parents have a circuitous, 1 1/2 -mile route to the Frederick County school.

"Things like that can make a big difference," Ms. Bamberger said.

XTC By identifying prospective annexation sites, the county and town could work together to prevent certain types of development, such as low-density residential sprawl, on those parcels, said Ms. Bamberger.

Under a town-county agreement, the county would refer to the town any development plans and rezoning requests on property pegged for annexation. In addition, the county would not allow properties close to, but outside, town limits to develop with septic systems or wells.

Such an agreement also means that both town and county would refer development plans or rezoning requests in the surrounding area to the other for comment. By working together, the county and town could identify parcels that may be needed for water and sewer lines or roads.

The town would annex identified parcels when it was ready, Ms. Bamberger said.

"It's definitely better planning," Ms. Bamberger said. "Right now, we refer any plans on the Frederick side of Mount Airy to Frederick planners. But we don't always get copies of new developments or rezoning requests from them."

Ms. Bamberger said there are no Frederick County annexation requests before the town now.

The town considers annexation requests at the initiation of property owners or developers, Ms. Bamberger said. Usually, there are a couple of annexation requests each year.

Although the town doesn't have a committee with Carroll, a town-county agreement there has established similar policies and procedures, Ms. Bamberger said.

"The town and Carroll County already have a mutual understanding of the ultimate corporate limits of town," she said. "We've already discussed and agreed upon future land uses in annexation areas."

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