(11/18/2003) Another chapter in the
town's current growth saga should come to an end Thursday
Emmitsburg's board of commissioners
will hold public hearings on two rezoning cases that have been
before the town since the summer. Bollinger Properties LLC
wants to rezone 8.9 acres off Irishtown Road to construct 48
senior housing units, while RJD Development Corp. is
requesting a rezoning to enable it to build townhouses on 9.9
acres in the Brookfield subdivision.
The Bollinger Properties hearing
begins at 7:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Sleep Inn on
Silo Hill Parkway, The RJD Development hearing will be held
when the board concludes the first hearing, likely between
8:30 and 9 p.m.
Decisions on both requests should be
made at the meeting. The necessary ordinances would be voted
on at a future board meeting.
Growth has been a major concern in the
town since May, when an annexation referendum was defeated by
a 3-to-1 margin. The rezoning requests are the first since
then that would add housing in the town.
Bollinger Properties also has
requested the annexation of 20.3 acres off Irishtown Road so a
subdivision with 50 upscale homes can be built. The
commissioners will not consider that request until January.
As for the rezonings, Frederick County
Planner Jim Gugel and Town Planner
Michael Lucas recommend conditional passage of both
requests, contending that the neighborhood's character has
changed enough to warrant rezoning. The town's planning and
zoning commission, however, split its choice, unanimously
advising the passage of Bollinger Properties' senior-housing
request and the denial of RJD Development's move to increase
density in Brookfield.
RJD Development representatives told
the planning panel that it hoped to build as many as 52
townhouses on the land it wanted rezoned to high-density
residential. About 2.8 acres currently is zoned for
general-business use, and the remaining 7.1 acres has
low-density residential zoning.
Krista McGowan, the attorney
representing RJD Development, said that as of Monday
afternoon, no significant changes had been made to the
development plan since it was presented to the planning
The senior-housing element of the
Bollinger Properties' request to rezone land from low-density
to high-density residential seemed to factor into the planning
panel's decision to recommend its approval. Because the
four-building complex would be limited to people age 55 and
older, it should not place any burden on local schools and
likely would add fewer cars to town streets than other housing
The complex also would be close enough
to the town square to allow most residents to walk into the
heart of Emmitsburg.
Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town