(4/5) The Emmitsburg Planning and Zoning
Commission continued reviewing the draft comprehensive plan at its March 14
meeting. The topics of discussion seemed to focus more on how the town will
physically look in the future.
Community Facilities and Services
The plan recommends designating a site for a new middle school in Emmitsburg.
“The county currently does not have a plan
for a school,” said Sarah Franklin, senior associate with Jakubiak and
Associates. “It’s been in your plan to have a site reserved for a school.”
Commission member Catherine Forrence
pointed out that by her estimate, Emmitsburg would need 11,000 townhouses,
9,000 single-family homes or some combination of the two to have enough
students in the town to justify a middle school. She suggested that the town
consider a preK-8 school, which wouldn’t necessarily need a middle school as
large as would be needed if it was a stand-alone school.
“It just seems like it might suit everyone
to talk about the expansion of the campus we have now,” Forrence said.
The plan also calls for a new park on the
north side of town where additional development is expected to occur in the
Community Design and Historic Preservation
The plan calls for continuing Emmitsburg’s historic village appearance since it
was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Franklin said
churches and institutional buildings should be preserved and restored. Forrence
added that the town’s historic cemeteries should also be preserved.
Franklin said that land for a public park
and institutional/civic building should be reserved in Irishtown Road between
Emmitsburg Road and Brookfield.
The plan also calls for, “Undeveloped
areas along South Seton Avenue should develop in institutional uses in
park-like setting. Buildings should be setback far back from South Seton Avenue
in ways comparable to FEMA and St. Catherine’s.”
“No annexation south of Toms Creek or west of Middle Creek should occur before
2030,” Franklin said.
Development outside of the municipal
growth boundary should be allowed to occur only where there are overriding
municipal objects that need to be met.
At the end of the meeting, some citizens
and lawyers spoke to specific proposals. Bruce Dean representing a client who
has property that plan calls for specific development on.
“To say, put a church or park we feel
that’s a violation of my client’s property rights,” Dean said.
David Thaler, representing the Daughters
of Charity, said the plan didn’t seem to address how the town’s “three big
engines of growth” – the Daughters of Charity, U.S. Fire Academy and Mount
Saint Mary’s University – will affect growth in the town.
The Planning and Zoning Committee will
continue discussing aspects of the plan and is considering holding a joint
workshop with the town commissioners about the plan. The comprehensive plan is
Emmitsburg blueprint for development over the next 25 years.
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