Frederick's mayor and aldermen are scheduled to consider the second request in as many weeks to annex land into the city.
The property owner seeks an annexation agreement to add 97 acres west and north of Kemp Lane along the western boundary of Fort Detrick.
The goal is to build 161 single-family houses and 295 townhouses, according to city documents.
Aldermen were scheduled to hold initial talks on the request to annex what is known as the Caidlyn property at Wednesday's workshop. That meeting was canceled due to snow and has not yet been rescheduled.
Land-use attorney David Severn said the Caidlyn land is ripe for development.
"My client has accumulated the property over the years," he said.
The owner has potential developers interested in taking the next step toward building should the city approve the annexation, Severn said.
"It's very real," he said.
One part of the property could cause a snag in the process, according to Gabrielle Dunn, the city's division manager of current planning.
About 20 acres are in what is known as tier three, areas the city does not want to see developed until other construction projects are completed. The rest is in tier two, which qualifies for development now, Dunn explained.
The mayor and aldermen will have to decide if they want to annex the tier-three piece now, Dunn said.
Severn believes the different designation is a mistake that should be fixed, he said.
The board last week discussed an unrelated request to annex another 49-acre parcel. Severn also represents that land owner. Located just north of Walter Martz Road and Christopher's Crossing, the proposed development is scheduled for a second workshop.
Both projects must go through a negotiation process with the city, which includes agreements by the property owners and developers to make infrastructure improvements and pay toward other work necessary to accommodate the new residents.
"There's always the issue of, what's the price of admission into the city," Severn said. "There are a fair number of road improvements that we're going to have to make, and financial contributions."
Combined, the two projects could add about 750 houses and townhouses.
"Residential (development) is coming back," Severn said. "It's not going to be what it was. It probably shouldn't be, but there are definitely signs of life."