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Myers annexation drops the 350 houses

James Rada Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(4/19) After announcing a revision to his original annexation request for the Myers Farm north of Thurmont, developer Tom Hudson has submitted his revised annexation request to the Town of Thurmont.

“The proposal is the same proposal I presented in November but without the residential,” Hudson said.

Though 188 acres is still being requested for annexation, only 50.5 acres would be developed as commercial space.

 “It’s a moving target for the actual square footage, but it won’t be anymore than 445,000 square feet, probably less,” Hudson said.

The revised proposal points out that although some people are asking for firm answers to certain questions, they are “Answers to which are typically provided after a rigorous civil engineering review that is integral part of the Town’s subdivision entitlement process. Additionally, this same entitlement process is also a key component of determining whether or not a proposed project complies with the Town’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (“APFO”). It is critical to remember that this is only the first step in a long approval process – not the last.”

Without the houses in the proposal, the town won’t receive the millions of dollars in impact fees and additional fees that were based on house construction.

The project would still include:

  • A wastewater treatment plant built to Maryland’s enhanced nutrient removal standards.

  • Its own water capacity or up to $500,000 for the purchase of water capacity.

  • $45,000 to the Thurmont Lions Club for its trolley trail rehabilitation project.

  • Up to $50,000 to reimburse the town its costs associated with review and approval of the annexation.

  • $50,000 for the planning related to an industrial parkway north of Thurmont.

“We will still have to build a treatment plant, but it will be a more-expensive proposition,” Hudson said.

This is because the 350 houses in the original project accounted for 70 percent of the plant’s capacity.

“Just because we need only one-third of the capacity doesn’t mean we can scale it back to one third. There are certain fixed costs we will still have for it, but maybe it won’t be quite as big a hurdle,” Hudson said.

Participation in the industrial bypass is a new element to the proposal as well. The proposal states, “The ultimate build out of this proposed annexation project coupled with the potential construction of the Industrial Parkway may require another Route 15 interchange. The applicant is wiling to dedicate the land necessary for an interchange at this property (which accounts for a significant portion of the total cost of an interchange) and is willing to work with the State, County, and Town to do whatever possible to ensure that an interchange is built.”

Hudson said he wanted to participate in the parkway because “It has been coming up consistently that people want to get the truck traffic out of town.”

With the revised plan in hand, the town commissioners and planning and zoning commission can reconsider the potential annexation. At this point, the project is not on the agenda for either group.

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