(4/20) Though an annexation request for the Myers farm is expected to come to the Thurmont town commissioners soon, the developer working with the property says his "extremely rough guess" is that residential construction on the farm would not start for another 2 to 2 1/2 years.
Tom Hudson with Hudson Land LLC in Washington, D.C., wants to develop the Myers farm in a way that fits with the desires of Thurmont residents.
"We have a concept plan and it's a very rough one at that," Hudson said.
He explained that his company is still conducting community outreach and does not know when the annexation request will be made.
"If I had my druthers, I'd do it as soon as possible, but I don't want to artificially rush it," Hudson said.
Knowing that the plan will face opposition from may people, he wants to make it as palatable as possible. Thurmont Mayor Martin Burn said that 95 percent of the e-mail he has received about the annexation has opposed the project, though he said he has heard too from many project supporters.
While initial discussions have focused on a large box store and 300-400 homes on the 235-acre farm, Hudson said nothing has been set in stone. No contracts have been signed.
He expects the final home count to be in the 350-375 range, but the plan could include medical facilities in addition to the commercial development.
Thurmont has only been allowing about 54 new homes a year to be built during the past few years. Hudson would like his development to grow somewhat faster.
"I would like it to be a little higher than that," Hudson said. "We need to be able to pay for some of the pretty significant dollars we'll be putting up."
Hudson said the residential construction could begin in 2 to 2 1/2 years at the earliest.
Other issues raised about the development have to do with protecting the scenic view and ensuring an adequate water supply.
"We will be respectful of some of the heritage and architectural style of the town," said Hudson.
Thurmont Planning Commission Member Randy Cubbedge said, "It's not going to look, no matter what, what's up on the hill (Food Lion Shopping center)."