Council to vote on annexation of land to town

October 03, 1994|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer

The Mount Airy Town Council is scheduled to vote tonight on the Kraft property annexation petition, which seeks to increase the town's size by 137 acres.

Magna Holdings Inc. of Baltimore plans to build up to 200 single-family houses on the farmland north of Buffalo Road if the annexation is approved.

The company has a contract to purchase the land, owned by Leo and Elizabeth Kraft.

Council President Delaine Hobbs predicted the council will approve the annexation.

"I don't know if it will pass, but I imagine it will," he said.

Mount Airy officials say the proposed development offers important benefits to the town.

These include developing a well for the town, extending Watersville Road and preserving parkland at the expense of the developer.

The annexation vote has been stalled by the town's attempts to obtain the desired zoning for the property and by a request from the town's attorney for more time to review legal aspects of the annexation agreement.

Mount Airy officials had clashed with the Carroll County commissioners over the commissioners' initial decision in August not to permit higher-density development on the Kraft land.

Last month, after lobbying from Mount Airy Mayor Gerald Johnson, the commissioners reversed their decision on the issuance of a rezoning waiver.

They voted 2-1 to increase the density from one unit per acre to two or three units per acre on the 137-acre parcel.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell voted against the zoning waiver, saying the increased development would strain public services, especially schools.

County and town planning staffs had reported that schools, roads and public safety services could handle the population increase.

The Mount Airy Town Council postponed a vote on the Kraft property at last month's council meeting so the town attorney could thoroughly review the annexation agreement.

Also on the agenda for the council meeting is a vote on a new council member.

Seven town residents have applied for the vacant seat, which became available when Councilman Marc Nance resigned in July to take a job in England.

The applicants are: John K. Bales, Richard R. Gardner, Norman Hammond, Gail B. Hill, Heather Price Smith, James Stargel and Drew Tracy.

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