They’re collecting signatures on a petition to get the incorporation put on a referendum.
Middletown, Md (KM) Some Middletown residents are looking to reverse a recent annexation. Members of Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Maryland are collecting signatures on a petition to place the recent incorporation on a ballot so that citizens can decide.
In April, the Burgess and Town Commissioners approved the annexation of a 94-acre parcel off of Coblentz Road near the eastern half of the city. The developer, Menmar Corp., plans to build 148 “active senior” house on the site.
“There’s too much traffic already in Middletown. There’s too much development already in the pipeline. And our general consensus was there’s not enough infrastructure in Middletown to have more development,” says Jane Weir, with the Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Maryland.
The developers say this project will be an age-restricted community reserved for people 55 and older But Weir says they don’t stay age-restricted for long. . “In other communities throughout Frederick County, we certainly know that developers promise active adult, over 55, and then it changes before the developments are built, adding to overpopulated schools, overcrowded schools,” she says.
The Concerned Citizens of Middletown, Maryland have been going door-to-door, asking residents to sign the petition. Weir says the reaction so far has been positive. “They just say ‘hey, give me that.’ ‘Can I help you?’ ‘What can I do if I don’t live in Middletown, within the corporate limits and I’m not allowed to sign it.’ And our answer is ‘you can help us. You can walk with us in the evening and talk to all your neighbors who live within the town boundaries,”: she says.
Residents can also sign petitions at the Town Hall, 31 West Main Street, Fountaindale Auto Center on Green Street, Middletown Sports Land on Main Street across from the Town Hall, and the Exxon Station at Hollow Road and Old National Pike.
Weir says organizers need 722 signatures by May 23rd in order to have it placed on the ballot. “There is a law that allows a town to waive the requirement for 20% of the voters to sign,” she says. “Given the fact that the town election recently only had about 300 voters, we’re hoping that if we get to close to that, that the town will go ahead and put it on a referendum for us to choose.”
After the petitions are certified, the town has to make a public announcement of the referendum, which is expected to be held within 15 to 90 days after that. Weir says it will probably not be held at the same time as the general election on November 6th, 2018.
By Kevin McManus