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Town Council approves Gardenhour annexaton Gardenhour annexation

July 06, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council voted Tuesday to approve one land annexation, but voted not to approve - at least in its current form - a second, smaller annexation.

The first annexation, the so-called Gardenhour property, would add 24 acres to the town limits, and under a developer's proposal could bring as many as 24 single-family homes along the town's northeastern border.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of the annexation resolution, despite one councilman's distaste for the plan.

"I'm philosophically opposed to enlarging the town for residential development," said Councilman William Mills at Tuesday night's voting session. "But I think it's a no-win situation. ... It would be irresponsible not to (vote in favor) to allow the county to take over."

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Councilman Jerome Martin said he hoped fewer homes would be built.

"I personally would not like to see, if I had my druthers, any more than 20 homes," Martin said.

The second annexation, an area along the town's southeastern border, was more problematic, even though the land mass was smaller. The so-called Tracey property, owned by Brian Tracey, is 2.3 acres and could hold as many as 16 town houses, officials said.

Instead of making a motion in favor of the Tracey annexation, Martin made a motion stating that he was not in favor of the annexation as currently proposed.

"I personally would like to see two single-family homes. ... Rented town houses have a tendency to, to draw elements that you (do) not necessarily want in your town. ... I just can't see the wisdom of approving this as it's proposed," Martin said.

Martin's motion passed by a 5-0 vote.

Faced with the next question of how to proceed, Town Attorney Charles Wagaman encouraged the council to vote on a second motion that would bring the annexation proposal back for discussion at a later meeting. After such a motion from Councilwoman Shirley Aurand, the motion passed 5-0.

After the meeting, Wagaman said the result will be a meeting next Tuesday by the Town Council to decide if it wants to put a density restriction, or some other restriction, on the annexation proposal.

Wagaman said that if the council only limits density, it likely won't have to hold a second public hearing. The council already held one public hearing on June 29.

Tracey, who was present at the meeting, declined to comment on the council's action.

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