Plan to annex has some in Keedysville on edge

November 01, 1998|By SCOTT BUTKI

KEEDYSVILLE - A proposed annexation that will add more than 90 acres to Keedysville has become the talk of the town, according to the owner of the Keedysville Country Store.

"A lot of people are very upset about it," said owner Kathy Rogers. Some citizens feel there is nothing they can do to stop it, she said.

However, Mayor K. Lee Brandenburg said he has not heard any opposition or support for the idea from town residents. He is more for it than against it, Brandenburg added.

The proposed annexation would increase Keedysville's area by about 20 percent - from 420 acres to 512 acres. The town has about 600 residents, Brandenburg said.


A town council public hearing on the annexation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at Town Hall. Rogers and Brandenburg predicted heavy turnout.

The 91.8-acre annexation involves the property of three landowners: Victor Peeke, John Burtner and Paul Williams. Burtner and Williams farm their land.

Peeke, who did not return repeated phone calls, is expected to use some of the annexed land to proceed with his "Trails of Little Antietam" development. Peeke's earlier development plans showed 69 new homes on a 109-acre parcel, part of which is in the town limits and part of which is in the county.

Some residents are concerned the annexation will bring more population growth than the region can handle, said Kathy Rogers' husband, Howard Rogers. The Rogers said they are especially concerned about the impact on local schools.

"As a businessman, I support it. But as a person who came in from the city, I'm against it," Howard Rogers said. He said the annexation would cause the town to grow too fast.

Brandenberg said Peeke is going to build his development whether he is within the town limits or not. If he is in the town limits the town government at least would have some control over density, he said.

The county studied the impact of Peeke's development before approving his plans two years ago, the mayor said. Based on that study, the town does not expect any adverse effects from the annexation, he said.

The annexation proposal involves:

* Two parcels owned by Williams, 8.8 and 14.4 acres, east of the city limits, adjacent to Wyand Drive.

* An adjacent parcel owned by Burtner, directly south of Williams. Only 14.9 acres of the 43 acres Burtner owns in the county would be annexed.

* A 53.3-acre site owned by Peeke south of the town. Dogstreet Road separates the land between Williams and Peeke.

The annexation proposal was officially proposed at the Oct. 5 town council meeting.

The Washington County Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the annexation at today's meeting at 7 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room in the County Administration Building in Hagerstown.

Since the annexation would change the land from agricultural to town residential zoning, it needs commission approval, Brandenburg said.

Burtner said he has been farming his land for more than 20 years and plans to continue to do so. However, if having some of his land annexed will make it more valuable for his children in 20 years, than he supports the idea, he said. He also farms Williams' land and expects Williams to continue to use the land as a farm, he added.

Williams could not be reached for comment.

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