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Drees annexation request ready to continue

James Rada Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(4/19) The Thurmont Commissioners last heard from Drees Homes in December when the company asked that its annexation request for property south of Thurmont be tabled. Since then, Stuart Terl has been brainstorming with others about how to best make the request a reality, having on-site studies conducted and watching the progression of discussions about other annexation requests.

Now Drees is ready to reactivate its request to have 113.6 acres near the new Weis Market annexed into the town.

“We’ve been tweaking the proposal as we perform our studies on site,” said Terl, division president with Drees Homes, “We’re making sure everything is buildable.”
One issue that has been raised about the project is the wet soils on the property, which is one of the studies being conducted.

“There may be some areas we don’t want to build on,” Terl said. “We can adjust the alignment to avoid those areas.”

The other frequent comment about the project is that it would bring too many houses onto the town’s already overtaxed sewer system. Terl said he has been brainstorming with others on how to address this point. One idea is that Drees place money to help the sewer problem in escrow to be used by the town when construction begins.

“We can also do exactly as the Myers group proposed and build a sewer treatment plan,” Terl said.

The target costs for the 329 houses would be about $350,000 for the single-family homes, about $250,000 for town houses and about $180,000 for elevator-accessed condominiums. Terl said these were the target price points and the final price would depend on how much costs, such as those paid to the town in the annexation agreement, would be. The existing proffer package for the development would be worth about $2.5 million to Thurmont.

“The goal is to present a proposal and say, ‘This is a proposal. What we really want is to hear what you want,’” Terl said.

Terl said the next step is to officially reactivate the Drees annexation request and make an appearance before the commissioners to update them on the project.

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