(10/4/2003) How much residential growth the town
experiences from 2004 to 2006 might be decided at the next few
board of commissioners' meetings.
The process will start Monday night
when the board considers a Residential Growth Management Plan.
The initiative was written by Town Manager David Haller with
input from Town Planner Michael
The meeting will be held at the town
office beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The plan calls for the town to issue
no more than 30 residential building permits annually for the
next three years. Twenty-five would be awarded based on a
distribution formula, and the commissioners could allocate the
remaining five in hardship or special circumstances.
The special circumstances provision
would allow the board to issue permits to people looking to
complete the last few homes in a subdivision or build on a
single lot. That would facilitate "infill development" in the
town, Mr. Lucas said.
Developers of multi-unit dwellings
could save their allocation for up to three years until they
accumulate enough permits to begin construction.
Emmitsburg has 221 lots available to
receive building permits. Many of those homes would be served
by a water line and a sewer line that badly need repair.
"We'd be dumping on hundreds of
additional units," Ms. Haller said. "We've got to fix (the
lines) before we continue at that unlimited pace."
Larry Schaffert, president of the
Frederick County Builders Association, could not be reached
Mr. Haller said 90 building permits
have been issued over the last two years, and he believed the
demand would rise to 60 in 2004.
He has suspended the
issuance of permits until Oct. 10.
The restriction could be extended if
needed, Mr. Haller said. However, he estimated that three
years should be enough time for the town to complete the major
infrastructure projects currently being planned.
"Then, if we're ready to relax these
constraints and let the market demand dictate (building), we
can probably do that," Mr. Haller said.
Mr. Lucas said the town's
comprehensive plan mentions growth management policies, and
management and protection of the town's resources. It also
calls for the town to pace its growth with its ability to
provide services at a reasonable cost.
"The comprehensive plan contemplates
managed-growth strategy," the town planner said, "so it's not
something new. It may be something that we haven't utilized in
Mr. Haller said the measure also might
foster sustained growth in the town rather than having a
building boom followed by a steep decline in new housing.
Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town