More traffic, more students and the zoning classification — integrated business district — are concerns to Aberdeen residents living near two properties proposed to be annexed into city limits, with the potential for more than 425 housing units.

“That zoning is so big and wide open, unless right now there is some control, this is really going to be molding the future for the children that are to come and the people that are going to live there,” Teanna Ringgold, who lives on Gilbert Road, told members of the Aberdeen City County Monday during a public hearing on the proposed annexation of 75 acres.

Advertisement

After years of trying, Harford moving forward on second access road for Perryman peninsula industrial area

For years Harford County has been trying to gain a second access point to the Perryman peninsula.

“The beauty of Aberdeen is we do still have so much areas of green, we should try to maintain that because more people are into health and nature.”

Bosworth Properties, Sage Custom Homes and Sage Gilbert LLC have a contract to buy the two parcels, the 37-acre Siebert farm owned by Helen Seibert Germeroth and the 38-acre Adams farm owned by Novo Realty.

Two concept plans have been developed, said Amy DiPietro, of the Morris & Ritchie Associates engineering and planning firm in Abingdon.

One calls for 49 single-family homes, 56 villas, 28 rental townhouses and 322 luxury apartments in seven buildings.

The other plan, which does not include multi-family uses, calls for 92 villas and 78 single-family homes, DiPietro said.

Both plans would have trails and open space, two connections to Gilbert Road and one to the adjacent Eagles Rest community, she said.

In the county, the properties are zoned agricultural; developers are asking the properties be zoned industrial business district upon annexation.

According to the city, IBD provides for “residential, recreational, educational, retail, entertainment and other commercial uses in an aesthetically pleasing and functionally compatible manner, to complement existing residential areas, to blend development with the environmental characteristics of the land, and to facilitate the efficient delivery and use of public services.”

Eric Reith, who lives on Locksley Manor Drive, said IBD is a broad zoning.

“It really gives the developer a blank check in this situation,” Reith said.

While the developer has proposed two residential plans, “nothing is set in stone” Reith said.

Traffic is Robert Keene’s main concern. He lives on Gilbert Road and said Long Drive and Gilbert Road “will be really like [Interstate] 95 as far as I’m concerned. It’s like that now during [IronBirds] baseball games.”

Gilbert Road won’t be able to handle the additional traffic created by the type of development proposed, he said.

Rosemary Queen of Locksley Manor Drive said the city needs to address other issues, including its water, first before it considers expanding.

Advertisement

“We’re not in a good position to expand and increase our residential community,” Queen said.

While Aberdeen has an agreement to buy water from Havre de Grace, that happening is a long way off and is going to require “a lot of money,” she said.

“Even if we have water to support this development, we’re certainly putting ourselves in a position to limit future development after this if we haven’t solved the water issue,” she said.

Inaugural Maryland Foodie Fest to feature everything from crab cakes to cook-offs

The Maryland Foodie Fest at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen later this month will include dozens of restaurants, breweries and distilleries.

The city council doesn’t intend to vote on the annexation request until its next meeting, July 8.

Apartments in B3

The city is also considering an amendment to its development code to allow garden and mid- and high-rise apartments in the B3-business zoning classification.

“It adds flexibility to what’s allowed in B3, next to office buildings, theoretically,” Mayor Patrick McGrady said. “Apartments seem to be a good use for increasing the density and walkability of our communities.”

Bradley Stover, a lawyer with Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover, told the council the zoning change would benefit his clients, the Klein and Salvo families, owners of Beards Hill Shopping Center and the Colony at Beards Hill.

They own two properties behind the Beards Hill center and the soon-to-be-extended Middelton Road and have submitted a concept plan to the Aberdeen Planning Commission for the property.

Their proposal is for 240 apartments in four buildings on nearly 10 acres.

“They really are a prime property that could be looked at to utilize this change in the code,” Stover said.

No one commented during the public hearing, and the council is set to vote on the development code amendment at its July 8 meeting.

Also on Monday, Donald Collier Sr., Nancy Backus and Rosalie Cross were unanimously re-appointed to three-year terms on the Aberdeen Ethics Commission.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement