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Mount Airy considers trading permit for town well funding; Developer to contribute $300,000 if allowed to build homes sooner


The Mount Airy Town Council will hold a public hearing tonight on a developer's offer to pay $300,000 toward developing a new town well in return for permission to build 60 houses sooner than scheduled.

The Fields of Nottingham, on the Carroll County side of the split town, is allowed 40 building permits in each construction year, but the council could pass a resolution to allow more, said B. J. Dixon of the town planning staff.

The accelerated building proposal was recommended by Mount Airy's planning commission last month, she said, and does not involve adding more units to the development, which lies on about 300 acres east of town.

The public hearing will begin at 7: 30 p.m., before the regular council meeting at 8 p.m.

The proposed accelerated building schedule for the next four years would add 10, 20, 20 and 10 units in consecutive years to the 40 allowed, she said. Payments each year totaling $300,000 would be used for the future development of the well and pumping station.

"We feel that it's a win-win situation," said Mayor Gerald R. Johnson, "because it is not adding any more buildings. We're just accelerating it, and at the same time we're getting a payment that is definitely benefiting us."

The payment is above the usual fees.

The well is drilled, the mayor said of the project, which could cost up to $1.5 million. "There is no timetable for it. We want to be sure everything's in place, so this will help us to get that ready to go," he said.

The town's Main Street serves as a dividing line between Carroll and Frederick counties, and its population of about 5,200 is about evenly divided as a result of recent building on the Frederick side, Dixon said. Now development on the Carroll side is taking off again.

A public hearing will be held at 8 p.m. April 10 to consider a request that the town annex about 78 acres zoned for low-density residential use, known as the Flickinger property, on the east side of Buffalo Road in Carroll County.

The council also is to hear today about plans for a new 156-acre park, tentatively known as New Market Regional Park, about four miles from town in Frederick County, said town planner Monika Jenkins.

The Frederick County project, to be implemented in phases, could include an amphitheater, pool and nature trails. A presentation is planned tomorrow at Linganore High School on Old Annapolis Road in Frederick County.

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