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Around Town

James Rada, Jr.
Emmitsburg
News Journal

(Oct 2010) The Town of Emmitsburg is currently under outdoor water restrictions within the town because of the lack of rainfall. The commissioners voted to enact a ban on all outside water use for at least 60 days on Sept. 7. At that time, the town had seen 4.8 inches less rain over the previous four months than over the same period in 2009. At the same time, water consumption within the town was up 12 percent.

The commissioners voted unanimously to enact the temporary ban in the hope that it will somewhat curb consumption.

Hunting allowed within town limits

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted on Sept. 7 to amend their firearms ordinance in a way that still allowed a small group of hunters to hunt on a large parcel of property east of Route 15 that is located within the town’s boundaries.

The changes allow hunting on a parcel or parcels owned by the same person that are adjoining and total more than 50 acres provided there are no homes on the property. The hunters must also obey all the Maryland hunting regulations.

Crosswalk going in at Silo Hill and Route 140

Emmitsburg Mayor James Hoover announced at the town meeting on Sept. 20 that the Maryland State Highway Administration is in the process of designing a crosswalk at Silo Hill and Route 140. He said that he had made the request for the crosswalk a number of times. The most-recent request was made at the beginning of the year.

Planning Commission no longer has to meet monthly

A change in Maryland state law has allowed local planning commissions, which were legislated to meet monthly even if there was no business to conduct, to meet less frequently. The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners voted on Sept. 20 to amend the town code so that the planning commission only had required quarterly meetings. Other meetings in between the quarterly meetings will be held as business is submitted that the planning commission needs to consider.

Daughters of Charity can convert part of Provincial House to senior housing

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved zoning changes on Sept. 7 that clear the way for the Daughters of Charity to pursue converting a wing of the St. Joseph’s Provincial House into senior housing.

The zoning change allows for senior housing to be developed within the town’s open space zones. The approval vote was met with applause from the audience supporting the change, although town staff had cautioned against making the changes.

The commissioners took public input about the change during the Aug. 16 and Sept. 7 meetings as well as hearing from town staff and representatives of the Daughters of Charity.

The approved changes define senior housing as housing for people 55 years or older and added senior housing as an allowable use in the open space zone. The stipulation is that the housing must be developed in a building that existed as of Sept. 1, 2010. The zoning change allows for 50 senior housing units to be developed, though a future phase may add another 50 units.

The staff’s position was that the project would use the remaining sewer and water taps available, which means that no further development will occur in town until more water is available. Town Planner Sue Cipperly also pointed out that the addition to the tax base that the needed taps would bring to the town was projected to be much lower than the town typically gets when it allocates sewer and water taps.

The Daughters of Charity saw that the project will increase tax revenue in town, bring in more jobs and allow the Daughters to make much-needed repairs to the town’s biggest tourist attraction.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the definition of senior housing, but Commissioner Denise Etris voted against making senior housing an allowable use in the open space zone. Etris said she doubted that senior housing would attract business to the town.

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