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New development could add 1,200 houses

James Rada Jr.
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(3/1) A potential development west of Emmitsburg could double the size of the town over the next 30 years or more.

During a workshop about Emmitsburg’s draft comprehensive plan on Feb. 22, Andy Mackintosh with Mackintosh Realtor spoke with the town planning and zoning commissioners about how a development he would like to build could also benefit the town.

“We are trying to work with the town to deal with the traffic problem,” Mackintosh said in an interview.

Mackintosh offered to build the proposed parkway that would help take southbound traffic from Pennsylvania southwest around Emmitsburg to South Seton Avenue. He estimated that the cost of construction would be around $10 million for the parkway, which he projects would be slightly longer than a mile.

“I can’t build the road first and not have any houses,” Mackintosh said. “The road and the houses need to happen together.”

Mackintosh has two pieces of property totaling about 200 acres. The project involves properties known as the Frailey and Keepers farms, bounded by Frailey and Annandale roads.

The property as medium-density residential could have 5 to 10 houses per acre or roughly 1,000 to 2,000 houses total. Mackintosh told the planning and zoning commission, he would expect the project to have about 1,100-1,200 houses.

Chris Jakubiak, the town’s planning consultant, told the commission, “If we do nothing, by 2008, we’ll have 1112 (households).” This means Mackintosh’s proposed development would double the size of Emmitsburg over the next generation.

If 50 houses a year were constructed, this would mean build-out of the development would take about 24 years. This does not take into account the time needed to get to the construction phase.

“If everything went smoothly with no hiccups, it would take 5-6 years before you would see a house,” Mackintosh said.

Mackintosh envisions the project having a mix of condominiums, townhouses and single-family houses, but also commercial uses. There might also be trails and parks.

“We could have a linear park along the parkway,” Mackintosh said. “We could have a mountain bike trail with a bridge over Toms Creek.”

He also suggested the stone house on the property could be turned into a bed and breakfast and Emmitsburg’s Main Street appearance could be carried through to the new development.

Mackintosh knows there will be some opposition to his proposal, but he plans to hold a number of public meetings with residents to hear their comments and concerns and discuss them.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government