On Tuesday, October 18, 2005, St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the St. Mary's County Community Development Corporation, Inc. authorizing the Corporation to manage the redevelopment process for 91 acres of commercial and recreational property in the core area of Lexington Park. The principal portion of this property is the 84-acre Lexington Manor neighborhood acquired by the County in December 2004 to eliminate residential encroachment of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and spur revitalization in Lexington Park.
As part of this agreement, no residential uses will be allowed and all commercial development will be strictly compliant with the Air Installation Compatibility Use Zone (AICUZ). The AICUZ overlay zone restricts the commercial capacity of this land to approximately 393,000 square feet or a total developed area of no more than 20 to 25 acres.
"We are moving forward in our continued commitment to protect and support the United States Navy and the business community and to return substantial amounts of publicly held land to the tax rolls," said Thomas F. McKay, President, Board of County Commissioners. "It is a sound business decision by this Board of Commissioners and a positive step forward for the future of our County."
The Corporation will receive assignable options on county owned land including the 34-acre Lexington Manor Northern Parcel, the Three Oaks Center and Three Notch Theatre and a 1.29 acre parcel of undeveloped land adjacent to the Lexington Park Post Office. The Corporation intends to secure a contract for sale with a qualified company or individual for the redevelopment of this land for office and retail use. Selection of a developer will be managed through a competitive process. Transfer of options on County owned land to the Corporation will require a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for early next year.
As a condition of the MOU, the Corporation is required to develop a plan for the recreational use of the county-owned 50-acre Lexington Manor Southern Parcel. This land will remain in public ownership for recreational use. The future use of the Southern Parcel is intended to support activities at the adjacent John G. Lancaster Park and to compliment new commercial development on the Northern Parcel.
The Corporation will also acquire assignable options on privately owned Bay District Fire Department and Whitlow properties with the expressed purpose of incorporating these parcels into the commercial and recreational redevelopment plan for the 91 acres.
"The Board of Directors of the Development Corporation stands ready, willing and able to serve the County with this important project," stated Barbara Horn, Chairperson, St. Mary's County Community Development Corporation.
The Community Development Corporation is an independent, non profit organization created to champion commercial and community revitalization in economically depressed areas of St. Mary's County. The Board of Directors of the Corporation is composed of bankers, commercial and residential developers, business owners and institutional representatives experienced in funding and managing projects of this size and complexity.
The Corporation has developed a comprehensive marketing plan to involve the public, the United State's Navy, the State of Maryland, and the Board of County Commissioners in review of the redevelopment plan throughout the developer solicitation process. Developers and other interested parties are directed to contact the Community Development Corporation at 240-725-5786 for more information about this project.