Tom Carolan said Wednesday night that
his race with the town is on.
Though Emmitsburgís board of
commissioners agreed in principle to temporarily restrict
growth in the town, it likely will be February or March before
an ordinance is passed to make the building-permit limits law.
That delay, Mr. Carolan hoped, will be enough time for him to
get permits to build the 21 homes heís been contracted to
"It is a race," said Mr. Carolan,
owner of Applegate Homes and developer of the Southgate
subdivision off South Seton Avenue. "Iím fighting for my life,
for the financial solvency of this project."
Though there are other developers
working on projects in various stages in Emmitsburg, they
donít seem to be imperiled as greatly as Mr. Carolan. Dan Ryan
Homes has pulled some permits to build in Brookfield, and that
project is years from completion.
Bollinger Properties LLC is seeking a
rezoning and annexation so it can build a 48-unit senior
housing complex and a subdivision. However, the board of
commissioners hasnít approved either request yet, so Mr.
Bollinger hasnít spent money on roads or water and sewer lines
for either project.
Itís Mr. Carolan who has roads on the
ground and pipes in the ground but no grounds to begin
building homes on.
In most areas, Mr. Carolan said, he
could be building 10 of the developmentís 35 homes now. In
Emmitsburg, however, a regulation that builders must have 85
percent of a projectís infrastructure completed adds months to
the time it takes before they can apply for any building
permits. The road-paving requirement should be reached in two
to three weeks. At that point, Mr. Carolan said, heíll
immediately apply for building permits, but thereís no
guarantee that Frederick County and Emmitsburg will issue the
permits before the town imposes its growth restrictions.
"You donít know how long it will take
any government agency," he said. If he gets the permits in
time, Mr. Carolan said heíll have all 21 homes built by next
fall, enabling a number of families to leave the temporary
housing theyíve arranged and settle into their new homes. If
he doesnít, he said heíll be financially ruined.
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