Westminster annexes land, allowing Sheetz development plans to advance

Plans for a Sheetz service station east of Westminster can move forward after the city's Common Council approved annexing property that developers are eyeing as the site for the project.

The city annexed 8.5 acres, which includes a five-acre parcel where the Sheetz store is proposed with the balance being Md. 140 and related public property, according to planning consultant Chris Jakubiak. The property slated for development is owned by K&G Properties, which applied for annexation into Westminster more than a year ago.


Representatives from Sheetz present during a public hearing Monday on the annexation said they needed the property to become part of the city before they could submit a plan for the site and get in line for city water and sewer services.

Now that the land has been annexed — the council voted unanimously Monday to approve the annexation — the proposed Sheetz becomes a normal economic development project, Council President Robert Wack said, calling the annexation an "added hoop" the developers had to jump through.

Sheetz's developers expect the site to require 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per day with half of that devoted to a car wash. Westminster's water allocation policy holds a portion of available water in reserve and divides the remainder among residential and commercial projects.

The annexation plan, which sets out how the property to be annexed will fit into the city's existing infrastructure and obtain services, included a much lower estimate of Sheetz's anticipated water needs and the council voted to amend the plan to strike that sentence before approving the annexation resolution.

Dave Bowersox, an attorney for the property owners, also questioned language in a memorandum from the city that, based on discussions with the State Highway Administration, recommended requiring the property owner to reserve 15 feet of land on each side of Md. 140 for possible future road widening and improvements.

Bowersox said he and his clients have no relationship with anyone at SHA and do not even have a site plan in place, so the only question was whether to annex the property.

"We don't know the extent of what's happening [with the property]," he said, adding that his clients were reluctant to convey 15 feet of ground for a project that may change as it is developed.

Any agreement as to reserving land for future road expansion should be included in an agreement as to how the service station will be connected to Md. 140, Bowersox said.

The issue of the 15-foot-wide reserve was not part of the annexation plan and will be addressed at a later date, city officials said.