Aberdeen mayor urges public to get involved in Upper Chesapeake plan, proposed annexation reviews

The Aegis

The mayor of Aberdeen is urging city residents to get involved and become aware of some major future development plans under review by the city’s Planning Commission.

In a recent post on his Facebook page, Mayor Patrick McGrady wrote that the preliminary plan for Upper Chesapeake Health’s proposed freestanding medical center and medical office complex off Route 22 will get its first public airing Wednesday evening, when the Planning Commission is scheduled to review a preliminary site plan.

“A ‘Preliminary Site Plan’ establishes the building footprint, the site design, and road access points,” McGrady wrote. “This will be the first opportunity for you, as a member of the public, to hear about the proposed plan and give feedback about the site.”

“The planning commission will likely review the document, ask questions of the representatives from [Upper Chesapeake Health] and perhaps will vote to send the plan to the City Council with a recommendation to approve or deny the plan as submitted,” he wrote.

The health system’s plan for medical facilities on the 35-acre Aberdeen Corporate Park property off of Route 22 is one of three items on the agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall at 60 N. Parke St.

Also to be reviewed is a request for annexation of 75 acres off of Gilbert Road, for a future residential development, and the review of final subdivision plats for the second phase of the Eagles Rest residential development off of Carsins Run Road on the far northwest corner of the city.

The Upper Chesapeake site plan calls for the existing 95,250-square-foot building on the corporate center property — vacant since its completion several years ago — to be used for medical offices.

It also proposes building a three-story, 125,000-square-foot free-standing medical facility behind the existing building, with a helipad nearby, and a third office building, 15,400 square feet on two stories.

A possible future bed tower is delineated on the plan in the parking lot in front of the new free-standing medical facility.

The plan also includes 553 parking spaces on the site that is owned by Merritt Properties. UM UCH is the contract purchaser, according to the site plan.

The Gilbert Road annexation request is from Sage Gilbert LLC, a contract purchaser of two contiguous parcels, which is proposing to develop a 455-unit mixed residential community with rental apartments and townhomes, single-family detached and attached (villas) homes and a community center with swimming pool, according to information submitted to the city.

The plan calls for 322 apartments in seven buildings (100 one-bedroom, 222 two-bedroom and 28 three-bedroom), 56 one-car and two car-villas, 28 townhomes and 49 single-family homes about 3,000 square feet each with two-car garages.

The two properties are zoned AG/agricultural by Harford County. The annexation proposal on file with the city states the properties would be rezoned to an Aberdeen city classification IBD/integrated business district.

A prior community meeting on the proposal was held Sept. 20, and McGrady pointed out in his Facebook post this will be a second opportunity for residents to learn more about the plan and its potential impacts.

"’Annexation’ is the process where a city (Aberdeen in this case) brings a new piece of land into the City limits,” the mayor wrote. “This is lengthy process, which culminates with a vote of the Aberdeen City Council to approve a request to be annexed. An annexation can be started by a owner or by the city. In this case, it was started by the owner.”

The mayor also noted the commission meetings are streamed live and then archived on the city’s website, as are City Council meetings.

“This is your community and my community. I want your feedback,” McGrady worked. “Today or tomorrow I will announce some great new ways for everybody to be able to get involved in the city processes so we can move Aberdeen into the future together.”

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