Land deals for Route 30 bypass near Committee appointed to speed the project is set to begin talks

$5 million for acquisition

State decision awaited, but likely outline is known

February 25, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

In little more than a month, Hampstead officials say, they'll know the route chosen by the State Highway Administration for the long-planned 5.8-mile bypass around the congested North Carroll town.

And a 10-member committee set up by Hampstead officials in December to speed up the project is ready to begin negotiating with property owners to help the state acquire rights of way.

The goal, committee members say, is to secure the necessary land, either through purchase or donation, and keep the acquisition costs close to the $5 million allocated by the state. If successful, construction could begin in four to six years.

Hampstead Mayor Christopher M. Nevin said SHA officials have made it clear that construction can be moved ahead only if the rights of way are secured in a timely manner. The limited-access highway is intended to divert heavy north-south commuter traffic off Route 30, the town's Main Street, especially during morning and evening rush hours.

Hampstead officials have a fair idea of the proposed route, which would run west from Route 30 at the south end of town near the Black and Decker distribution plant and swing around North Carroll High School. It would intersect Route 482 and continue north across industrially zoned land before turning east to Route 30 near Greenmount.

Committee members say there are a half-dozen large tracts that would be bisected by the proposed two-lane road, plus about 50 smaller tracts.

"We plan to begin discussions with the landowners of the larger properties first," Mr. Nevin said.

Town officials say they hope to persuade owners that selling or donating the rights of way would add value to their properties once the bypass is completed.

If the Hampstead committee can help the state hold land acquisition costs to the $5 million pledged by Gov. Parris N. Glendening last month, the project could be a bargain since early projections put the cost at $17 million.

State construction money will not be allocated until the rights of way are in hand, but SHA officials say the bypass could cost less than expected since early projections of $18 million for 'u construction included intersections that have been dropped from the plan.

County and town tax assessment maps show that the owners of the largest tracts along the probable route are Carroll County General Hospital and Black and Decker (U.S.) Inc., which own a total of more than 400 acres.

Private owners with large tracts include Carroll Jacob Leister, with 172 acres; Elwood and Marjery Michael, with 100 acres; and Walsh Farms Ltd., with 22 acres.

James H. Dulaney, a Westminster real estate appraiser, said it is impossible to know how a bypass would affect property values until factors such as access to the new road are known.

"There are just too many variables to even speculate," he said.

A spokeswoman for Carroll County General, which owns 122 acres near the proposed route, said the original tract, about 400 acres, has been subdivided since it was donated about 30 years ago by Willella Stansbury Kriel in her parents' memory.

"The hospital has supported the proposed bypass because it benefits all the players [land owners and town business people]," said Gill Chamblin. "We'll certainly try to do our part to make it happen."

A spokeswoman at Black and Decker said officials with knowledge of the company's Hampstead property were unavailable for comment.

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