Public Hearing Planned On Proposed Salisbury Annexation

SALISBURY – The City Council is being guided to accept the annexation of land on the north-eastern edge of the city to be developed into a residential community.
The City Council had two resolutions before it on Monday evening regarding the “Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation.”
The first resolution proposed the annexation of land to the City of Salisbury known as the “Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation.”
According to the resolution, “the City has received a petition to annex, signed by at least 25 percent of the persons who are resident registered voters and of the persons who are owners of at least 25 percent of the assessed valuation of the real property in the area sought to be annexed.
“The area of land is contiguous to and binding upon the easterly corporate limit of the City. More specifically, located on the southerly side of and binding upon Merritt Mill Road, east of the intersection of Merritt Mill Road and Philip Morris Drive, and it is recommended that the boundaries of the City be changed as to annex and include all parcels of land and residents in that area.”
A public hearing will be scheduled on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Government Office Building.
The second resolution on the table was to approve the Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation Plan.
According to the Report of Annexation Plan for the Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation, at a work session in August the Salisbury City Council reviewed the proposed annexation and draft annexation agreement.
In September, the City of Salisbury/Wicomico County Planning Commission reviewed the proposed annexation and forwarded a favorable recommendation to the Salisbury City Council.
The annexation property consists of 11.21 acres of land located in the area between Route 50, Merritt Mill Road and Philip Morris Drive. It is bordered on the south by a shopping center, on the east by a townhouse and multi-family development constructed in 2006 and on the west by open land, which has partially developed in the separated office and institutional use site plans along Philip Morris Drive.
The property’s concept development plan features 56 townhouse units and 16 duplex units. The plan is part of a negotiated annexation agreement between the city and the petitioners. The annexation agreement provides that, upon annexation, the property would be developed in substantial conformance with the concept development plan.
The property will be served by a new public street, which will connect directly to Merritt Mill Road and terminate at a proposed roundabout in the center of the development site. A private street will provide access to a portion of the development south of the roundabout. It also contains a reservation of public right-of-way so that a public street connecting the property to the adjoining parcel on the west side can be constructed when needed.
The annexation agreement requires the developer to install and construct curb, sidewalks, streetlights and street trees along the property’s frontage with Merritt Mill Road.
The development plan provides 3.3 acres of open space including the dedication of an eight-foot wide bike path/walkway through the project connecting the development and the adjoining existing housing development to the commercial shopping center on the southern property line.
The council formally reviewed the resolutions and order a public hearing be held. The council directed that the Annexation Plan be forwarded to the Maryland Department of Planning and the Wicomico County Council for comment within 30 days of the public hearing as provided for by state law.