What I’m hearing at almost every town and county meeting, what I’m reading about in newspapers, magazines, blogs and social media posts, what I’m hearing from local real estate practitioners, business owners and residents – loud and clear, is one of the reasons we do not want more housing is because we do not have enough open space, not enough parkland, and most of all, not enough ball fields to accommodate the current need.
Team Bonnie and Maureen have a listing – 116 Acre Farm listed for sale with access off Woodville Road. This property abuts the Town of Mount Airy’s Property where the Town Well at the end of N Annapolis Drive and Windy Ridge Park are located. It is 116 Acres with approximately 30 acres of level, open land perfect for ball fields and a school; there is a house & barn site, 4 building rights and 64 acres in freshly planted and forever protected forest conservation. The asking price is 1.5 Million: 116 Acres in a Municipal Growth Path using a conservative current per acre value of $10,000 + 4 Building Rights at $50,000 each, a pricy milled Entry Road and Incalculable Water Rights and (future) Timber Rights more than support the ask. What a great acquisition this would be for The Town of Mount Airy and its residents. But, if the town cannot afford to purchase it, why not structure an exchange with a developer?
Mount Airy, in fact, owns less parkland than other like-size municipalities in Carroll and Frederick County – although to be fair, Mount Airy does have a lower tax rate. However, the current size of the town doesn’t provide adequate open space and ball fields for the demand, so there is little wonder why groups like CAMO and other concerned residents are standing up and adamantly opposing growth without adequate public facilities.
I think Mount Airy is in a unique position to make bargains that benefit the town. Whether it be through additional impact fees to developers to fund the additional needs of the town, or a request for developers to purchase land like the farm for the benefit of the town, or to not only give the land needed for a new police department building, but to build it too! It’s time we all thought outside the box for a Win-Win. We need the developers – there is, after all, a national and local housing shortage – but we need adequate public facilities too.
Side Note/Full Disclosure: I am the listing agent for the farm described herein, meaning if sold, I will financially benefit. If I financially benefit, of course, so will the town, since I live here and I do buy as much as possible from local businesses and use local services!!