Analysis and Opinion of Alderman C. Paul Smith
For the reasons I will state below, I intend to support the annexation of the Summers Farm if it meets certain criteria that will protect city interests. I believe that this annexation could be very beneficial to the city.
The Summers property (101 acres) is in an area that can be easily provided with city water and sewer services, whereas it would be difficult for the County to ever provide such services to this land. For this reason, under principles of smart growth planning, this is an area that should eventually become a part of the city.
In my opinion, the west end of the city would benefit from having an upscale neighborhood in this area. The west end of town already has a lot of high density housing, but this is an area that would be ideal for nice homes on lots that are a quarter acre in size or more. Adding this type of a neighborhood is something that could help the commercial establishments on the west side of town to do well. This could help a revitalized Frederick Towne Mall to succeed.
I understand that the annexation proposal will include about 15% commercial development. Some of this can be helpful to residents in the area so that they can get certain services without having to go out on US 40.
There will be some denser residential on this property, but that it will be on the interior of this land.
Floodplain issues and the financial impact of this annexation are being considered. In my opinion the annexation would not burden taxpayers, but would actually help area businesses and thereby support our tax base.
The impact of this development on schools is being adequately addressed by the applicant’s financial commitment towards the building of schools on the newly purchased Hargett Farm property.
The development of Summers Farm will have an increased impact on the Butterfly Lane/Rt. 180 intersection. However, the primary route for these new residents to exit the development will be via Mt. Phillip Road, onto Route 40. Nevertheless, the purchase of Hargett Farm has given the City the ability to realign the Butterfly Lane/Rt. 180 intersection by moving it south and west away from the Himes Avenue intersection. This will help, but of course until the State widens the bridge over US 340, the ultimate alleviation of this problem will not occur.
These are some of the main reasons why I think this annexation would be good for the city.