(5/3) In a straw poll during the May 1
commissioners meeting, the Thurmont
Commissioners expressed doubt that the Lawyer
Farm annexation proposal by Beazer Homes would
overcome the commissioners’ reservations. If
that is the case, it is doubtful that the
property will be annexed into town.
“There’s a lot of issues I do not think
they’ll be able to overcome,” Mayor Martin
Among his concerns were the fact that the
proposed project has 250 single-family homes
with no housing variety to allow different
price points (like the Drees annexation
proposal) or even a variety of land uses with
commercial or retail (like the Myers
annexation proposal). Burns also said he
believes the proposal will not alleviate any
traffic on East Main Street or Moser Road.
Commissioner Ron Terpko added, “With the
consent order with MDE there’s no possible and
the traffic is going to be a nightmare.”
Burns said that what the commissioners were
doing was not taking an official vote but
expressing their feelings about what is known
about the project to date.
“It’s their (Beazer’s) option. We just
can’t sit up here and say denied,” Burns said.
The idea behind the straw poll was to give the
developer an indication of the direction the
commissioners were leaning. This would allow
the developer to decide whether it was worth
the effort to continue to pursue annexation.
Burns recently announced a similar straw poll
concerning the Myers Farm annexation proposal.
At this point, Burns said, “Drees Homes is
the one that looks the most promising.”
He said this is not to say that the project
doesn’t have drawbacks, but it also has its
positives. One such positive is that part of
the annexation proffer to the town could
include a $4.6-million equalization basin
which would act as a “Band-Aid” for the town’s
sewer problem and buy time for the town to
deal with the multi-million-dollar repairs.
Otherwise, Burns said the sewer repair
costs will begin to impact the town budget. “I
cannot sit on my hands knowing there’s a sewer
issue and not do anything for another year,”
Terpko said that with the changes in the
town charter, the town commissioners could put
all three annexations on a referendum. While
the commissioners did not discount this
option, they thought it still might be
premature to either take a straw poll on the
Drees annexation proposal or put it to
George Rathlev with Beazer Homes could not
be reached for comment prior to publication.