Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Market voters reject annexation

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New Market voters on Tuesday refused to annex 262 acres on Boyers Mill Road into town.

The Town Council voted in December to annex the Smith-Cline property, proposed for development by Winchester Homes, but residents quickly collected 176 signatures to take the decision to referendum.

Of the 253 votes cast, 148 voted against annexation and 105 supported the move.

Annexation opponents said they believed that development would bring traffic and children that would burden overcrowded roads and schools.

Those in favor of expanding the town limits had called for local control over the property, which they said would be developed regardless of an annexation. They said the town could benefit from tax income from any future development.

New Market resident Dede Pucino, a member of Concerned Neighbors of New Market, an anti-annexation group, said she voted against annexation because she feared overcrowded schools.

‘‘If anything, we have tried to be honest,” Pucino said. ‘‘We worked really, really hard to keep personal bias at a minimum and stick to the facts.”

Members on either side early Tuesday had set up information booths in a last-minute effort to lure the some of the town’s roughly 340 registered votes by providing details to those undecided. Both said they believe the outcome would be close.