Town of Walkersville Comments
Recommended Walkersville Region Plan
- Maintenance of growth area boundary
The Town supports the retention of the community growth boundary originally adopted in 1995. The Town understands that "a community growth limit line is delineated to identify the area expected to be developed within the next 20 years." The Town acknowledges that the community growth boundary encompasses an area far larger than that which is planned for development in 20 years. The growth area boundary encompasses an area generally thought to be within the community and represents the ultimate limits of the community of Walkersville.
The Town feels that the designation of an "ultimate community boundary" is appropriate in this case for the following reasons:
- Distinct identity—Among the purposes and objectives of the Community Concept is to maintain the distinct physical identity of the communities. The Town of Walkersville could lose its distinct identity due to the proximity of Frederick City.
- Prime farmland—The Town would like to encourage the continuation of the agricultural uses on land that is identified as Prime Farmland. Agricultural uses have been and will continue to be integral to the community. The Town anticipates that a number of farms in and around the Town will remain in agricultural use indefinitely, whether or not they are enrolled in a preservation program. The town will continue to use its Agricultural zoning district to encourage the continuation of agricultural uses and to control growth.
- Greenbelt—The Volume 1 Countywide Plan supports the protection of green belts around communities, and the Town would like the Region Plan to acknowledge that an agricultural greenbelt surrounding the Town has begun to form and to support its expansion. A number of Agricultural Preservation Districts surround the Town. The Town is currently in the process of annexing two properties (Nicodemus and Grossnickle) on the southern boundary of the growth area. Both properties would be annexed in with agricultural zoning with no commitment to rezone the land at any time in the future. This agricultural greenbelt provides a transition from the City to the south and southwest and maintains the Town as a distinct community.
- Logical residential growth pattern—The town would like the Plan to allow for the residential development of land within Town limits to occur before those areas that are outside the town limits but are within the growth area. Long-term development strategy would include a tiered approach to the development of the town:
- The first tier of development (up to 10 years) would include build-out of properties which are currently zoned for residential development, including the remainder of the Sun Meadow development, the Bell, Graham and Mayfair properties.
- The second tier of development (10 to 20 year) development of properties within the Glade Creek basin. The town water supply is within the Glade Creek basin.
- The third tier (beyond 20 years) would include properties within Town limits, but within the Israel Creek basin.
- The final tier would include properties that are currently outside Town limits. The Town sees the development of these properties to be in the 30 to 50 year range.
- New School Sites—The Town notes the designation of a new elementary school site and a new middle school site on the Route 26 corridor within the community growth boundary. The Town feels that these sites would be more appropriately located in the Frederick Region. Residential growth on the north side of Frederick City has had a significant impact on the enrollments in Walkersville schools. Overcrowding at Walkersville schools would likely be alleviated by the provision of adequate capacity in and around Frederick city.
- North-south Parallel Road—the town has gone on record opposing the designation of a north-south parallel road extending from I-70 to Biggs Ford Road and U.S. 15.
- Continuation of the current population growth rate—The Town would like the Walkersville Region Plan to reflect the Town’s desired average growth of 40 to 50 homes per year. (The Town’s population estimate as of July 1, 2006 is 5,734 persons)
- Water and Sewer Service Maps—The Town would like to see the water and sewer service maps reflect the Town’s land use plan both inside and outside Town limits.
- Provision of facilities to precede or coincide with growth—Roads, schools, libraries, water and sewer facilities need to be in place prior to the approval of additional residential development. The Plan does not push for immediate relief of the school overcrowding and sewer capacity issues. The Town feels that this position further justifies a lower growth scenario for the Region as funding priorities are other areas of the County.
- Two schools serving the Town and its growth area are currently operating at or above capacity. As of June 30, 2006, Walkersville Elementary had an equated enrollment of 657 students, and was operating at 135% of state rated building capacity. Walkersville High School had 1,271 students and was operating at 106% of state rated building capacity.
- A 200 seat addition to Walkersville Elementary School, is included in the Capital Improvements Program for opening in 2012.
- Two projects in the Frederick County Capital Improvements Program, a new elementary school on the northeast side of Frederick and an addition to Walkersville High School, are scheduled for construction sometime after FY 2011.
- Improvements to MD 194 have been designed but there are no plans for construction.
- The Ceresville Pump Station is nearing capacity. The study/expansion of this facility was requested in the FY 2006-2011 Capital Improvements Program but was not approved. The Plan mentions the need for additional capacity at the Ceresville pump station but does not address how or when the improvements will be made.
- The existing Town water supply is sufficient to provide for the development of areas currently designated for development on the Town Plan. Additional development would require expansion of existing facilities or development of a new water source.
- The size of the Walkersville Library is inadequate. Funds for construction new library facilities are scheduled in the Capital Improvements Program in FY2010.
Individual Property Requests
- WA-2004-04 Beazer Homes Corp, 883 acres, 9314 Liberty Road, Request for Low Density Residential, Village Center, Conservation.
Town Comments: The development potential of this property alone far exceeds the 20 year need for the Walkersville community based on historic growth rates of the Town. The Town sees the development of this property to be in the final tier of development of the Town, after land within the existing Town limits is developed, and beyond the 20 year plan period. The Town would request that entire property be designated Agricultural and Conservation on the updated Region Plan.
- WA-2004-07, G. Hunter Bowers, III, 108.88 acres, 8908 Fountain Rock Road, Request for Low Density Residential and Conservation.
This southern part of this property is designated Limited Industrial on the Town Plan. It lies within a proposed industrial corridor along the railroad tracks. The remainder of the property is designated Agricultural and Conservation on the Town Plan. The Town sees the development of this property to be beyond the 20 year plan period. The Town would request that the industrial designation on the property be maintained and that the requests for a residential plan designation and zoning be denied.
- WA-2004-08, Ross Bradley, II, 9403 Dublin Road, Request for change from residential plan designation and zoning to Agricultural designation and zoning.
The Town has no objection to this request.