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Funkstown annexation would take in official's land

July 11, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff writer

FUNKSTOWN - This town of 1,146 people may grow by nearly 64 acres soon, but town officials hope to maintain that small-town atmosphere.

The mayor and Town Council on Monday will consider adoption of new zoning and subdivision ordinances aimed at preparing the town for growth.

The town is preparing to complete the annexation of 40 acres belonging to Assistant Mayor Paul Crampton Jr. and a 23.8-acre piece of parkland that borders Antietam Creek west of town.

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Asked if he has any immediate plans for his 40-acre property, Crampton said, "Not other than one house...for myself."

He said his request to have the property annexed does not include any proposal for zoning.

Also scheduled to be annexed is a 23.8-acre parcel east of town owned by the mayor and town council, but not officially within the town's borders. The land was purchased years ago with a grant from the state's Program Open Space.

The county zoning for the property is suburban residential and agricultural, but a condition of the Open Space grant was that the land cannot be developed.

"If everybody comes in, it almost triples the area of Funkstown," said Planning Commission Chairman Doug Stone. The annexation would include a number of existing homes and undeveloped farmland around the town.

Mayor Robert L. Kline said the annexation of both properties will be the subject of a special meeting on Aug. 20, at which time residents will have a chance to voice support or opposition.

Crampton called the existing ordinance, adopted in 1974, a "cookie-cutter zoning ordinance" that many communities adopted when the state made zoning mandatory more than 20 years ago. He said state funds were available to draft the new ordinance.

Funkstown now has town center, town residential and suburban residential zones. The new zoning ordinance would add agricultural, general commercial, neighborhood commercial and rural residential zones. If adopted, none of the properties in the town would be rezoned. Any lands annexed to the town automatically would be classified rural residential, unless the town council voted otherwise.

Stone said Funkstown has the excess sewer capacity to accommodate growth.

Last month, however, the waste water treatment plant supervisor warned the council that the system was running at about half its design capacity and the lagoons needed to be dredged.

If annexation goes forward, opening the way for growth, the question becomes: What kind?

Included in the ordinance is a Traditional Neighborhood Design, or TND, district. Stone said the idea is to encourage development that preserves Funkstown's small-town look.

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