Sykesville quietly OKs annexation of long-sought Warfield Complex

September 29, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

With little public comment or official discussion, the Warfield Complex at Springfield Hospital Center became a part of the town of Sykesville last night.

The town formally annexed the 139 acres and 15 buildings, once part of the state hospital for the mentally ill, a project that local officials have worked on for more than three years.

"We have gone through all the hoops to get this far," said Mayor Jonathan S. Herman. "This will be an important addition to the town."

The county commissioners notified the town yesterday that they had unanimously approved the annexation and that they had also changed the present agricultural zoning to mixed use.

"The county signed off on our plan, so we can zone Warfield in accordance with our master plan," said Matthew H. Candland, town manager.

Several county departments reviewed the request and "no adverse comments were received," the commissioners said. Public water and sewer service is available to the site.

The state Board of Public Works awarded Warfield to the town in December, and local officials formulated an ambitious plan to renovate the century-old buildings into offices and possibly a satellite campus for Carroll Community College.

The commissioners urged the town to address highway safety and access issues as the site is developed.

"A mixed-use designation could significantly increase the amount of traffic on Route 32," the commissioners said in their letter to the town. They also recommended traffic studies once new tenants come onto the property.

Residents have 45 days to comment on the annexation before it becomes final. A petition of 20 percent of the registered voters in the town of 3,500 residents could bring the proposal to referendum.

Pub Date: 9/29/98

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