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Three annexation requests made

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(10/9) Thurmont now has three large annexations to consider. Developers for three properties to the north, south and east of Thurmont submitted petitions for annexation to the town at the end of September.

Of the three annexations, only one, Drees Homes near the new Weis Market, submitted a draft annexation agreement along with its annexation petition.

Drees Homes is asking that 113.6 acres south of Thurmont be annexed into town and rezoned from agricultural land to residential property.

The property would eventually hold 329 dwelling units for a density of 2.9 units per acres. The project would include 119 single-family homes, 102 townhouses and 108 condominiums.

Drees Homes would like to be able to build these dwellings at a rate of 75 per year.

The incentives Drees Homes is offering include:

  • $2,000 for each single-family home, $1,500 for each townhouse and $1,000 for each condominium on preliminary plan approval to be used to maintain and/or improve the public sewer system ($499,000).
  • $3,000 for each home on permit application approval to be used to maintain and/or improve the public sewer system ($987,000).
  • $300,000 for design and construction of Thurmont Boulevard Extended, related landscaping and sidewalk construction.
  • $200,000 for the construction of two public tot lots that the town would maintain.
  • $50,000 upon final approval of the preliminary plan for the proposed town master plan vision and downtown revitalization plan.
  • $200,000 for the second phase of the trolley line restoration.
  • $250,000 for the design and/or construction of a new town hall, police building, Guardian Hose Company or other municipal improvement.

The total cash value of all of the incentives would be $2,486,000. This is in addition to normal fees paid by the developer and property taxes that homeowners would pay. Many of the incentives would be paid at designated points during development.

Drees Homes also submitted a water and sewer study with its annexation petition. The water study notes that Drees Homes would seek independent sources of water for the development and that the town would be given any excess capacity the company develops.

Beazer Homes petitioned the town to annex the 131.1 acres that makes up the Lawyer Farm east of town. Beazer Homes is seeking to build its anticipated 241 single-family homes at a rate of 50 a year.

Hudson Land requested that the town annex 209.5 acres north of Thurmont into town. The development would include commercial properties and around 375 homes.

The town attorney is now considering how the town will consider three major annexations at one time. The usual process would be to introduce the annexations at a town meeting, refer them to the planning and zoning commission, file them for review with the county commissioners and planning and zoning commissioner and have the planning and zoning commissions make recommendations.

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