Aldermen Consider 387-Acre Annexation

Most of the land would be rezoned to light industrial.

Frederick, Md (KM) A proposed 387-acre annexation was introduced to the Frederick Board of Aldermen during Wednesday’s workshop.

The land is located along the north and south sides of Gas House Pike east of the Riverside Corporate Park. It consists three parcels: one is 165.309 acres and is know as Parcel 3; another is called Parcel 5 and is 104.952 acres; and the third one, known is Parcel 47, is 116.929 acres. Parcels 3 and 5 are located on the north side of Gas House Pike, and Parcel 47 is on the south side.

The applicants, the Renn Family, are asking that 327-acres come in as light industrial or M-1,and the rest be zoned as resource conservation. The properties are currently  classified as agriculture by the county.

The attorney for the Renns, Bruce Dean, noted that the city’s comprehensive plan does not identify this land as industrial in its comprehensive plan. He says that could mean it loses out on a great opportunity to open up more property for industrial use to entice businesses to move in and create jobs. “Opportunities are frankly flying by the city of Frederick and Frederick County and the state of Maryland to utilize industrial properties of this size. They just do not exist in the city of Frederick, or in Frederick County, or frankly anywhere to my knowledge around the DC Metropolitan area,” he said.

Chris Smariga, with Harris Smariga in Frederick, said this lack of industrial land this size makes it difficult to attract large companies to the city and the county. “A couple of times a year we do hear from people looking in the region to place big tenants,” he said. “None of these big users have been able to fit on a single piece of land yet in the city and the county.”

The Director of the County’s Office of Economic Development, Helen Propheter, said a property this size could encourage large businesses to move into Frederick city and the county.  But, she said, it also could be used as a retention tool, as some of these companies plan to outgrow their current . “Currently, for whatever reason, they haven’t  found what they need, and they’re asking us for an opportunity to stay here. So we do see this as a potential {retention} tool,” she said.

The Aldermen are expected to discuss this annexation at a future workshop. They need to iron out such issues as taxation, traffic, and water and sewer usage. In addition, the County has said this annexation is inconsistent with its comprehensive plan, and the city  would need request a ruling of consistency by the County Council.


By Kevin McManus