Pushing the Boundary: Keeping on the Outskirts of Rockville
The Gazette reported earlier this week that an island of unincorporated Potomac exists within the municipal boundaries of Rockville. Read more to find out how this happened, and tell us why you've decided to stay unincorporated.
Nearly eight acres of Potomac land sit surrounded by municipal Rockville -- a final bastion of unincorporated land just inside the Rockville borders, according to a recent Gazette report.
The propreties, on Hectic Hill Lane, have avoided annexation into municipal Rockville since the town began incorporating similarly enclaved properties in the 1980s. At one point six similar enclaves were incorporated by the city of Rockville, after the state of Maryland in 1983 prohibited the creation of enclaves and made it easier for cities to incorporate existing ones. The Hectic Hill Lane properties had existed as an enclave since the 1970s and in 1984 successfully petitioned against incorporation to the Rockville government, the Gazette reported.
Do you remember the annexations of the 1980s? Did Rockville discuss incorporating your property? Tell us in the comments.
“I suspect that they perhaps didn’t see the benefit,” Rockville's chief of planning, Jim Wasilak, said of the property-owners in the 1980s when annexation began. “They would be paying additional property taxes in the city with perhaps no apparent increase in services,” he told the Gazette.
The property owners at the time, John Voegtly and Lacey Gude, received services such as trash and garbage collection and police and fire protection from Montgomery County. If their properties were annexed they would have had to pay an additional $1,488 a year in ownership costs for city taxes, trash collection and water and sewer access. Their bills would have increased from $12 a year to $1,500, the Gazette reported.
The Hectic Hill property owners also argued their land acted as a green buffer between housing developments along Fallsmead Road, Horizon Hill Park and Potomac Bend.
“Rockville is becoming increasingly more densely populated and there are all too few remaining residential green areas,” Voegtly told the council, according to a 1984 public hearing transcript.
He ran the property as a farm, raising horses and breeding game birds.
The properties current owners say they have put no thought to having their land annexed, the Gazette said.
Do you think Voegtly's reasons for staying unincorporated are still relevant? Do you think a property's value is increased or decreased when it is annexed?