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Annexation requests could flood in this month

(9/24) Don't be surprised if the expected annexation requests for proposed developments around Thurmont are presented to the Thurmont town commissioners this month.

"You're going to see a rash of annexation requests before October 1 because of a new law," Mayor Marty Burns said during a town meeting.

This new state law, passed by the Maryland General Assembly this year, will have a visible effect on municipalities beginning in October. The law requires municipalities to include more planning elements in their master plans and to consult with the county about future growth boundaries. According to Burns, this will give counties more say in municipal plans.

It will also require more detailed annexation plans than are now required. This is something, according to Burns, that developers will be asked to create for property they want annexed.

Burns made the announcement as a warning to residents. "I don't want anyone to be shocked when the requests come in," he said.

Thurmont has three possible annexations that have been discussed this year:

" Myers Farm: A 235-acre property along U.S. Route 15 north of Thurmont that would see about 180 acres developed as commercial and about 375 homes.

" Drees Homes Development: A 108-acre property along Catoctin Furnace Road south of Thurmont that would see 330 single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums.

" Lawyer Farm: A 131-acre property east of Thurmont and to the east of East End Park that would see about 241 single-family homes.

Burns said that even if all the requests come in by the end of the month, they don't all have to be addressed at the same time.

"If they're going to come anyway, we want them to understand we want them to come with the maximum benefit for the town," Burns said.

The new law will also affect the town as it finishes its master plan update.

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