Fairhaven offers 12 acres to town

October 11, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Fairhaven Retirement Community is offering Sykesville the opportunity to annex 12 acres of its property if the town will

rethink its opposition to the extension of Third Avenue.

"The property could be taxable and a good business opportunity," Greg Burgan, vice president and treasurer of Episcopal Ministries to the Aging, which runs Fairhaven, told the Town Council last night.

Mayor Jonathan Herman called the proposal a "generous offer" and agreed that the retirement community, which has 450 employees and 600 residents, has the "worst intersection" in town.

"Fairhaven is saying it will give right of ways to the county if it gets help with its entrance to Route 32," Mr. Herman said. "It's a tricky issue, and how it turns out will affect our town."

Last year, the Town Council voted against extending Third Avenue in favor of realigning Obrecht Road around the north end of Fairhaven. Both options would alleviate traffic in town and give motorists easier access to Route 32.

The county, which would fund the realignment at a cost of $1.2 million, is seeking easements from Fairhaven for the project and for an access road to a proposed water treatment plant. With XTC most of Third Avenue inside town limits, Sykesville would have to pay for its improvement.

"We reopened negotiations to extend Third Avenue with the county," said Mr. Burgan. "We will give the county right-of-way easements after the construction of Third Avenue, which is a higher priority and a greater need."

Mr. Burgan said the Obrecht Road project is "years away, and we need an intersection now."

He said Fairhaven has made a commitment to "work toward both roads" but wants the extension and widening of Third Avenue first.

Mr. Herman said the annexation makes the proposal "sweeter," but he cited the county's unwillingness to fund improvements to a town-owned road as a "major hurdle."

"Both roads are needed," said James L. Schumacher, town manager. "Obrecht will alleviate northbound traffic, but about 70 percent of the traffic travels south."

Fairhaven's annexation offer and the Third Avenue proposal will come before the town Planning and Zoning Commission Nov. 7.

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