Mount Airy's town council members said at a public hearing last night that they see no advantages to annexing Doub's Farm property located west and south of Watersville Road.
They planned to discuss the annexation at last night's council meeting, but had not made a decision at press time.
"This would stretch out our resources," said Mayor Gerald Johnson at the public hearing, which preceded the Town Council meeting.
County Planner Sandy Baber also opposed the annexation and read a letter from the county commissioners recommending denial.
No one spoke in support of the annexation during the half-hour public hearing, which was attended by only two residents.
The property is zoned agricultural in Carroll County, which would allow one home per 20-acre lot.
The owners of the 126-acre farm, Doub's Farm Venture Limited Partnership, asked the town to rezone the land for low-density housing if the property were annexed. Low density zoning would allow up to 3 homes per acre.
Doub's Farm Venture has argued that the tract should be annexed because it might provide two new primary wells and a possible secondary well for the town.
The partnership also would give the town a mile-long stretch of property for recreational use. The property ranges from 100 to 300 feet in width and could eventually tie into the proposed Rails To Trails project across southern Carroll County.
However, town planner Teresa Bamberger has consistently maintained that possible problems with the property outweigh any benefits. She has said property closer to town should be developed first and that various steep slopes on the farm will make it difficult to develop.
In addition, Mr. Hobbs said that the town has previously been unsuccessful in finding water on that end of town.
"We've drilled about 26 wells on that side of the ridge and we haven't found water yet," he said.