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Ideas for a town bypass changing

(5/3) As the Emmitsburg Planning and Zoning Commission works to reach agreement on a comprehensive plan to recommend to the mayor and town commissioners, the idea of a southern parkway won’t happen…at least in its current form.

During a workshop on April 19, Planning Consultant Chris Jakubiak presented a number of changes that he saw needed to be made to the draft comprehensive plan the commission has been discussing.

Jakubiak said he had received a number of comments about the proposed Mountain View Parkway. He told the commissioners, “There doesn’t seem to be much support for this.”

Commissioner Catherine Forrence said she might support a minor arterial road with restricted access points that was built to state standards so that the state would maintain it.

“I don’t think we should expect Andy Mackintosh to build a bypass for Emmitsburg,” Forrence said. “I think what we should do is set aside the land.”

Commissioner Patrick Boyle said, “If we’re thinking about getting rid of truck traffic, we need the northern bypass.”

Jakubiak said one of the problems with the southern route was the intersection with Route 15. “The State Highway Administration will only allow the town to restrict truck traffic if there’s an interchange at 15,” Jakubiak said.

Forrence also said that the State of Maryland will be closing all at-grade intersections that weren’t designated for interchanges. She said she didn’t know when it would happen but that it was in the state plans. However, Jakubiak said an argument could be made to keep the Creamery Road intersection open because of the presence of the new ambulance company building on the road.

Other changes include:

  • Removing the idea of a community village east of Route 15 because deed-restricted land stops it.
  • Differentiating between village zone and town residential zoning.
  • Adding more preserved land.
  • Creating a more-detailed designation of the village core.
  • Phasing in of municipal growth.
  • Updating the groundwater section.
  • Updating the community facilities data and the estimated level of service.
  • Adding a water resource element to the plan.

One recommendation that already appears to be taking place is the creation of a greenbelt around the town. Jakubiak said that because of property owners placing their land in preservation, “You can see an emerging greenbelt in the town.”

Jakubiak said that the town should consider restricting development near sensitive environmental areas. He said that if this is done, the owner should be allowed to increase density elsewhere on the property.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government