(12/6) The Emmitsburg Planning and Zoning
Commission would like to see an institutional zoning category created in the
Town of Emmitsburg. The commission voted 4-0 to include a recommendation for
such zoning in the comprehensive plan they are preparing to send to the mayor
and town commissioners.
“We do need to add something in the comp
plan addressing institutional zoning,” Planning Commissioner Patrick Joy said
during the Nov. 26 planning commission meeting. “We did designate land using
Mayor James Hoover said later that he
doesn’t expect the details to be worked out for institutional zoning to be
completed before the comprehensive plan is approved so he noted that, “Some of
their recommendations could be a little premature.”
Land that is currently used for
institutional purposes—the Basilica of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the
Emmitsburg Community Building, etc.—is zoned open space. Institutional zoning
would better define how the land would be used.
The planning and zoning recommendation,
written by Joy, includes civic and governmental institutions, public and
private schools, nursing homes, performing arts centers, museums and
retreat/conference centers. The zoning would also allow for ancillary uses that
directly support the institutional use. One example of this would be allowing
university housing for staff, faculty and students to also be zoned
institutional, though it is residential in the way it is used.
The recommendation will be included in the
comp plan that the planning and zoning commission will send to the mayor and
town commissioners. They then have the option of keeping it, deleting it or
modifying it for inclusion in the final comprehensive plan.
“It’s a reasonable recommendation,” said
Hoover. “We’ll have to consider the pros and cons. My guess is that it will be
several months, if not a year down the road, before we’ll decide.”
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