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Annexation proposal said to have few negative effects

November 09, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Smithsburg officials said this weekend that a recent annexation proposal will not have a substantial negative impact on town services and resources.

One councilman who has been outspoken about past annexation plans said he likely would support the latest request.

Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said the request for annexation of a South Main Street residence includes provisions to subdivide it into six parcels. Myers said, if annexed, fewer than five new homes will be built on the 2.3-acre parcel along the town's border.

"That certainly isn't going to impact us that much, no," Myers said. "It doesn't have the question marks that a large annexation has, and the issue of being contiguous is cut and dried here."

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Councilman Jerome Martin, who has spoken out about annexing large properties for the purpose of building dozens of new homes, said "it makes no sense not to" approve the South Main Street property for annexation.

Martin said he believes a couple of new houses would not cause a strain to public works' resources, the existing school populations, traffic and sewer capacity. He said the county has told town officials that there already are problems with the sewage system's existing capacity that would be compounded by a substantial population spike.

"It's something we can handle," Martin said. "It's certainly something that would please me more than 71 houses."

Martin said a previous proposal by a Frederick, Md.-based company that requested annexation for a property southeast of the town for the purpose of building 71 single-family homes would have a negative impact on the lives of existing residents.

The Smithsburg Town Council appointed an ad hoc committee last week to work with Town Attorney Charles Wagaman on annexation possibilities regarding that property.

Martin and Myers said there have been rumblings that several additional annexation requests are looming.

"We know the area around Smithsburg is prime land right now, so we anticipate others," Myers said.

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