NEW MARKET, MD - Almost 400 acres of farmland in New Market could be developed after Frederick County Commissioners gave the idea the green light at Thursday's meeting.
Businesses could line 262 acres of the Smith-Cline property. Frederick county commissioners consented to annex with a three-to-one vote.
"If these folks, the municipal residents, ultimately want to annex these properties, then we want to be able to allow them to control their destiny and reap the benefits from it," says Blaine Young, president of the Board of Frederick County Commissioners.
"We're close to being a small town surrounded by larger county towns, and these will expand and diversify our tax base and provide us with population that justifies building a new school," says Winslow Burhans III, the mayor of New Market.
The board also voted three-to-one to annex 134 acres of the Delaplaine property.
Commissioner David Gray voted against both of the annexations.
"We're sort of going hog wild by deciding to double the town with the idea you're going to make a lot of money on it," Gray says. "I think it's not a real wise thing to do."
"The silent majority in New Market overwhelmingly is in favor of this because it will help the town survive in the future. If we stay the same size, we're not sustainable. If we can grow, we'll thrive," says David Price, a councilman in New Market.
The town will now write annexation agreements for the two properties. The New Market Council is expected to vote on whether to give the development two thumbs up within the next week.
Burhans says the council could vote on the annexations as early as next Wednesday.