Frederick aldermen weigh adding 49 acres to the city -- Gazette.Net







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Frederick might expand its borders on the north side of town by about 49 acres, if a proposed annexation is approved.

The five-member Frederick Board of Aldermen — the last step in the process of expanding the city’s borders — discussed the proposal at a workshop Wednesday.

The developer, Christopher’s Crossing LLC, has asked for medium density zoning, which would add no more than 300 single-family homes and townhouses.

The land, known as the Bargtis/Lasick-Rallas properties, is near Walter Martz Road and Christopher’s Crossing road, west of U.S. 15, according to city documents.

The children of the residents in the development would attend Yellow Springs Elementary, Monocacy Middle and Governor Thomas Johnson High schools, the documents said.

The proposed development would add 69 elementary school students, 36 middle school students and 41 high school students, according to projections from the developer.

Due to the increase in traffic the project would bring, the city’s engineering staff has asked for $1.65 million for improvements to U.S. 15, Monocacy Boulevard and the Christopher’s Crossing road as well as to the interchange between Monocacy Boulevard and the road, according to the proposal the developer submitted in 2012.

For future discussion, Alderman Carol Krimm (D) asked city officials during the work session to provide a map of the roadways that would be affected, where improvements are planned and what would be needed based on the annexation.

The new homes would be part of the city’s water and sewer system, if added.

Victor White, a representative of Christopher’s Crossing who said he graduated from Frederick High School and has ties to the area, told the aldermen that the annexation would provide a financial boost for the city in the form of impact fees and taxes.

“We have a deep appreciation for Frederick,” he said. “We want to see it succeed. We’re excited to move some things forward in the county and the city.”

David Severn, the attorney representing Christopher’s Crossing, said in an interview that the proposed annexation is surrounded by city neighborhoods and will fill in residential development in the surrounding area. He said the property was identified in long-range planning as a site that could be annexed by the city.

During construction, the project is estimated to bring $2.5 million in revenue to the city and $12.6 million to the county in fees and revenue.

The city would receive impact fees related to the increased use of its water and sewer system as well as other needs, while the county would get fees related to school construction and other affected services. Both jurisdictions would receive related tax revenue.

It also would add 408 construction jobs, according to documents presented to the city.

After construction, the development would bring in $650,000 annually in city taxes, $1.78 million in county taxes and $1.98 million in state taxes.

The expected cost for the city to provide services to the area, such as police, snow and trash removal, is estimated at about $535,000.

The Frederick Planning Commission already has recommended approval of the project, but the aldermen do not have to follow a timetable for a decision, despite the approval from the planning commission.

Alderman Karen Young (D) said the board should make sure any concerns are specific so the developer has an opportunity to address them.

Severn said at the meeting that the developer has had lengthy discussions about the annexation with the planning staff and hoped the open discussions would continue as the aldermen added their input.

“I feel like we’ve done our homework as thoroughly as possible,” Severn said.

The board will discuss the annexation at another workshop, but a date has not been sent.