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Myers Farm could be annexed without houses

(3/15) The developer of the Myers Farm property north of Thurmont is considering changing his annexation request so that it would become an annexation of commercial and office property into the town.

“They’re considering taking the homes out of the equation,” Mayor Martin Burns said during a town meeting on Mar. 6.

He met with developer Tom Hudson and the town attorney prior to the meeting to discuss options for the Myers Farm annexation request. Hudson wants Thurmont to annex about 189 acres into the town to be developed as commercial space, office space, houses, townhouses and parks.

“It was a wide-ranging discussion I had with the mayor,” Hudson said.

According to the mayor, when Hudson asked what could be done to improve the chance of annexation approval, Burns told him to remove the houses from the request. Hudson’s concept plan of the development, called Thurmont Commons, includes 228 single-family houses and 112 townhouses to surround a commercial center.

“The homes are the most draining on the infrastructure and the businesses aren’t,” Burns said.

Three of the major tenants in the business area would be a Home Depot-type store, a Wal-Mart-type store and a 15,000-square-foot emergency medical facility. Hudson said at this “very preliminary” stage, the emergency medical facility would be two to three stories with a clinic on the first floor and offices above.

“Right now, there are two options on the table,” Hudson said. “The original request and the request without the residential.”

However, Hudson said the residential portion of the annexation request could be brought back at a later time as a separate, new request.

“I was really shocked,” Burns said. “I didn’t think they would consider it.”

Burns also pointed out that this would still require the construction of a wastewater treatment plant so that the development would not affect the town’s problematic sewer system.

Even this truncated annexation request faces strong opposition. Judging by the discussions on a local forum, some of the strongest opponents to the annexation still remain opposed.

Hudson is on the town’s planning and zoning commission meeting agenda for Mar. 22.

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