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Annexation needs to include by-pass plan

(1/3) Town staff have advised proponents of an approximately 200-acre annexation located at the western end of the town line to develop a plan that would include a by-pass to help alleviate traffic congestion.

Specific plans remain to be made public about the reported annexation of 100 to 200 acres of land adjacent to the western boundary of Emmitsburg, but Town Manager David Haller said the proposal involves properties referred to as the Frailey and Keepers farms, bounded by Frailey and Annandale roads.

Haller told The Dispatch that he and Mayor James E. Hoover had met with the potential annexation petitioners to discuss their proposal, which Haller described as "very preliminary' and the pending applicants haven't even included the number of homes proposed for the property.

The town manager said he advised the applicants to consider developing a proposal for a by-pass, including construction of the proposed road, which he estimated would cost $1-2 million.

Haller said, "I told them if they want to chance it (proposing the annexation), bring in a plan showing a southern by-pass."

Andrew MacIntosh, MacIntosh Inc Realtors, Mt. Airy, confirmed rumors of a possible annexation petition Jan. 26 when he told The Dispatch that an informal meeting with town staff had been planned in order to discuss the annexation concept.

"We have met with Michael Lucas (former town planner) and we just want to go at a very slow pace," he said, emphasizing that those involved are "just discussing" a proposal at this point. "We want to do it right," MacIntosh said. "We don't want to be the bad guys on the block." Lucas confirmed that he had met with the potential applicants.

Town staff recently recommended that the comprehensive plan, presently undergoing revisions, include provisions to aid in the establishment of a by-pass west of town. According to the recommendations, the by-pass could be built if properties in that area being annexed to the town were required to allocate land for it.

Traffic through Emmitsburg has become heavier in recent years primarily due to an increase in development across the Mason-Dixon Line in Pennsylvania.

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