Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Annexation Exasperation

At Monday night's Annapolis City Council meeting, the issue of the City annexation of land in the county was the hot button topic. The concern, among the environmental and traffic-minded, is that allowing the City to annex land in the county, including "179 acres near Forest Drive and Spa Road known as the Katherine properties, and 6 acres off Edgewood Road near the Annapolis Water Reclamation Facility known as the Rodgers property", will result in the land being upzoned and more densely developed than if the land was left under the County's zoning.

Several Councilpeople, including Sheila Tolliver (D), Louise Hammond (D), and David Cordle (R), have sponsored a moratorium bill that would "put a freeze on city annexations until the council adopted a comprehensive set of policies that would 'define land use, transportation, and other conditions under which land would be annexed.'" Sounds like a reasonable position to me.

In fact, I like the idea so much I would like to see the County put a similar development moratorium in place until we can get an accurate sense of the adequacy of public facilities (e.g., schools, water, sewer, roads) countywide. Such a stance would be quite effective for a prospective County Executive candidate, given that whether in the City or in the County, a significant proportion of residents seem to be fed up with the deterioration in quality of life caused by unchecked growth.

Tomorrow's column will showcase the answers from various Mayoral candidates to a questionnaire I asked them to fill out last week.

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