Bills target land annex

3 proposals require developers to act to get city water, sewer

Tax revenue seen as issue

Pact with county outlining annexation often not adhered to

January 29, 2002|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

Developers who want city water and sewer service on land adjacent to Westminster's city limits would have to first be annexed into the city, under three measures proposed last night by the Westminster Common Council.

Because Westminster's water and sewer service area extends well outside city limits, it stands to gain tax revenue by annexing businesses on adjacent land.

The measures - two ordinances and an amendment to the county's master plan - are designed to bolster enforcement of an agreement between Carroll County and Westminster suggesting that land proposed for development that would use city water and sewer service would be annexed before receiving the services.

At an annexation workshop in September, council members realized that they needed to address the fact that developers were getting city water and sewer without having their land annexed.

Not only does this encourage sprawl, it also keeps Westminster from collecting tax revenue in these areas, they said.

"What this amounts to is the encouragement of the enforcement of an existing agreement between the city and the county," said council President Damian L. Halstad.

Also last night, the mayor and council honored city clerk and zoning administrator John D. Dudderar, who is retiring this week after 37 years with the city.

Mayor Kevin E. Dayhoff, who praised Dudderar's dedication and professionalism, declared Thursday to be "John Dudderar Day" in the city.

"We're all going to miss John," said City Attorney John B. Walsh Jr., who has worked with Dudderar for 20 years. "Someone will be sitting in his office, but he's irreplaceable."

Dayhoff appointed Planning and Public Works Director Thomas B. Beyard as acting zoning administrator and Laurie Womer, the mayor's executive secretary, as acting city clerk until the city hires a new clerk.

Since advertising Dudderar's job, Beyard said the city has received more than 110 applications for the post.

He said he hopes to hire a new city clerk by the middle of next month.

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