(12/29) From new development, to increased
population size, to a possible collector road, the town Planning and Zoning
Committee debated on Dec. 12 a variety of issues that will be laid out in the
The meeting began on the topic of growth, with
population size predicted to increase by 2,600 people over the next 30 years.
Planning consultant Christopher Jakubiak said the town should expect to have a
2.3 percent annual increase in dwelling units, "which is not aggressive by any
means." He noted, "The town of Emmitsburg can expect about 1,100 new households
from now until the year 2030."
The big question was how the town would accommodate the
influx of residents. With little land left in the town that could be developed,
it was decided that future development would have to occur through annexation.
Jakubiak pointed out three parcels of land, the
Bollinger property, Silver Fancy Farm, and the Fraley property, within the
growth boundary that could be annexed for development. By developing 3.5 units
per acre on these parcels, the town could accommodate roughly 800 of the 1,100
The next big topic of the night was possible inclusion
in the plan of a bypass, or collector road, which would help divert traffic
flowing from Pennsylvania to U.S. 15. The road would also ease new traffic from
the potential developments. "I think it's an important road if development
happens," said Jakubiak.
Other topics discussed were the importance of
preserving a greenbelt around town and the creation of a trail system
connecting outlying developments to Main Street as well as to each other.
Jakubiak also brought up, after speaking with a
representative from Mount St. Mary's University, that they would like to see
cooperation in developing a trail system that would give students walking
access to the town.
With a projected increase of around 750 more students
in the next 20 years, there would be an increased need for student housing.
There was also talk of a possible mixed-use zone developed for student housing
as well as commercial facilities. "This may not happen in 20 years, but it may,
and the plan would allow for that," said Jakubiak.
Jakubiak and Associates will take information gathered
from the meeting and draw up a draft of the final chapter of the plan, expected
to be completed in January. The committee invites the public to attend the next
meeting and make comments on the draft. A specific date for the meeting will be
posted on the town's Web site.
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