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Emmitsburg planners may have worked themselves out of a job

(12/30) The multi-year effort in Emmitsburg to produce a final draft of the updated comprehensive plan concluded in October, leaving the planning commission with little on their agenda.

Monday evening’s regular meeting of the commission was barely six minutes long. The previous month’s meeting was arguably even shorter in duration.

Town Planner Sue Cipperly did take a few minutes to brief the commission on where the town council is relative to their review of the proposed comprehensive plan updates.

The Emmitsburg Town Council began its formal review of the draft comprehensive plan update at their December 15 meeting.

Cipperly commented that efforts are being made to work more closely with state governmental entities, such as the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), in the future to make the local planning efforts a little more seamless when it comes to satisfying state regulations and expectations.

"I have been in touch with state and MDE people," she said, regarding the comprehensive plan update work. "They have helped. I think we will be improving that situation (working with other agencies)."

Planning commission Vice chairman Tim O’Donnell, acting as the chairman Monday night in the absence of Chairman Larry Little, asked if some of the confusing maps that had been generated in conjunction with the plan had been clarified.

Cipperly stated that the map work will be improved.

"Some of the outside consultants found it (the maps) hard to work with, and I did too," she said.

The town planner said the changes being made to the comprehensive plan draft to reflect changes requested by the council during their review would not be posted on-line because "it is a work in progress."

Producing a final draft of a proposed update has taken various town planning commissions over four years to produce.

The first work shops held to deal with the comprehensive plan update occurred during 2004.

The comprehensive plan being updated was adopted by the town council in 1998.

The town’s planning commission presented the council with their final draft in October, initiating the town council’s review portion of the adoption process.

The council previously agreed to review sections of the update at the second council meeting of each month until the plan is ready for final approval and adoption.

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