Part of it will be rezoned light industrial.
Frederick, Md (KM). In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Frederick Board of Aldermen agreed to annex the 387-acre Renn property along both the north and south sides of Gas House Pike east of Riverside Corporate Park. Plans for the property is the rezoning of 327-acres to light industrial, creating another employment center. 60-acres would remain as farmland.
“Go forth and bring back jobs to us,” said Alderman Phil Dacey before he and his colleagues took a vote.
Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak also supported the annexation, saying it has a higher benefit than other incorporations into the city of Frederick. “The benefit of the zoning possibility alone in the city and the tax benefits from that I’m looking forward too,” she said.
During a presentation, Manager of Current Planning, Gabrielle Collard, recommended some provisions be placed in the annexation agreement which would protect Frederick Municipal Airport. “In order to provide the best long term interests of the airport, staff is seeking a permanently, narrowly scoped avigation easement over the entire property for removal of any identified obstructions that are existing or are in the future,” she said. “And then a more specific avigation agreement over smaller portions of the property that underlie the Runway 23 approach surface which is approximately 199-acres.”
Rick Johnson, the Airport’s manger, said the FAA requires that obstructions be removed so that aircraft can take off and land safely. “Basically, we are on the hook for the obstructions that are currently on the property, and future obstructions that lies within this approach zone,” he said.
But Bruce Dean, an attorney for the applicants, said the city already has the authority to enter the property and remove any obstructions which hinder the take offs and landings at the airport. “The city would have access the entire property, all of the farm lot,all of the rest of the property, whatever portion you need to go on to remove an obstruction, whether it exists now or anytime in the future. You’ve got that, now and into the future,” he said.
He also said that any agreement such as the avigation agreement would usually be negotiated with a potential property owner or tenant, and is normally not part of an annexation agreement. “When they want to locate to the city of Frederick, they will have to sit down and have to negotiate a mutually acceptable avigation agreement at no cost to the city,” he said.
Alderman Josh Bokee agreed that details such as accommodating the airport would be negotiated at a later time. “I’m not going to make a decision on that because I’m not an aviation expert. But I do think that I have confidence in both parties because this is not the first time we would do this,” he said. “Two private parties will often take issues and say ‘we will come back to them at a future time and negotiate them through’ because they are difficult.”
In addition to the tax revenue and additional jobs, Alderwoman Kuzemchak says any companies which locates on the Renn property will also help with the traffic congestion in the area, and could lead to the construction of a north-south road to parallel US Route 15. “We really need a road like that and this allows to move forward to that. It helps us for the Monocacy Boulevard 26 interchange which is a nightmare,” she said.
By Kevin McManus