(9/22/03) Home-building in the town has been
blocked at least until early October, and the building-permit
ban could Wad to a plan aimed at controlling Emmitsburg's
Town Manager David Haller temporarily
suspended the issuance of residential building permits from
Aug. 29 until Oct. 10 because he wanted to review town
permitting procedures. That review is complete and viable
processes are in place, and Mr. Haller said that in the
downtime, he worked on a way for the town to manage its growth
The town issued about two building permits a month in 2002 and has averaged about four a month this year, Mr. Haller estimated. However, he said he believes Emmitsburg is poised to enter a rapid growth phase because so many lots are approved for development.
"Right now, we have 150-plus lots
waiting to go," he said. "We were never sitting in that
Mr. Haller said he believes the town
might benefit from having procedures in place to help control
the growth rate, so he developed a plan and has had it checked
by other staff members. Because the proposal hasn't been
presented to the board of commissioners, he wouldn't provide
details about it.
The reason for his efforts, Mr. Haller
said, was his belief that the town needs time to repair and
upgrade parts of its infrastructure, which takes time and
money. He also said the town should benefit if its
growth rate is steadier and more sustainable.
If the board wants to consider the
plan, Mr. Haller said he expected it would be placed on the
agenda for the Oct. 6 meeting.
"Some changes might be advantageous
for some reasons," he said. "We'll see if the mayor and
commissioners agree or disagree."
Regardless of whether the board opts
to consider the plan, Mr. Haller said the issues he had with
the residential building permitting process have been
addressed and a more rigid schedule for fulfilling permit
requests has been set. He said no builders have asked to
override the permit-suspension order.
The building-permit suspension could
be lifted as planned, Mr. Haller said, or might be extended if
the board opts to consider the growth-control proposal.
Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town