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Open Letter to the Residents of Emmitsburg

Ed Smariga
Buckeye Development LLC

Hello, Residents:

My name is Ed Smariga of Buckeye Development LLC. We are the developers of Silver Fancy, a 62-acre farm located on the north side of Emmitsburg. We are also currently developing Pembroke Woods in Emmitsburg. There has been some information and considerable "misinformation" regarding the annexation of Silver Fancy. We believe that you will be able to make the best decision about the annexation if you hear both sides of the story.

The project is proposed as a high-quality residential project consisting of 80 single-family homes and 50 townhouses. The single-family homes are expected to sell starting at around $250,000 and the townhouses around $170,000. This project will be similar in design to Pembroke Woods, except there will be townhouses added to meet the state requirements of Smart Growth (this requires a minimum net density of 3.5 units per acre).


The Town of Emmitsburg examined the annexation of this property in great detail and put many conditions on this annexation. The Town Staff Report detail many aspects of the annexation. and recommended 7 conditions of annexation. The report recommended approval based in part on the following considerations:

  1. The property was already zoned in the County for residential development allowing 3 units per acre,
  2. The Town Comprehensive Plan shows this property to be within the Town Growth Line,
  3. The schools serving the property are projected to be under capacity through at least year 2010,
  4. The Town sewer and water will be adequate to serve this project.

One of the major conditions of annexation is the Town requirement that the Developer replace the existing water line in North Seton Avenue from Main Street to the site, a distance of approximately 2500 feet. This water line is old and undersized. Unless Silver Fancy is annexed, the Town will ultimately have to fix at a cost of approximately $400,000 to the Town and its residents. Under the terms of the proposed annexation, no money outlay is required of the Town, but 50% of the water line cost will be credited to the Developer against future Town fees. The bottom line is a net taxpayer savings of $200,000.

With regard to water supply, the actual water usage in the Town is 135 gallon per day per home. This 135 gallons per day usage was determined by the Town using data acquired over many years (not just periods when water conservation measures were imposed). We are required by the Town to provide 200 gallons per day per home for each home built on the property.

With regard to Route 15 access, the State Highway Administration is not proposing to close the North Seton Avenue intersection; the State is only proposing that left turns and through traffic from North Seton Avenue (northbound and eastbound traffic) be prohibited. All access to and from Frederick, which is the primary traffic flow, will not be affected by the proposed State changes.

Some positive aspects associated with our project include:

  1. Extension of Brookfield Drive, which will help relieve existing traffic on Main Street (this project will not complete Brookfield Drive 100%, but will contribute so that over 50% of the total length of the road is constructed)
  2. Providing a Water Tank and Well site to the Town, which are already needed without Silver Fancy,
  3. Providing in excess of $1,000,000 in short-term revenue and benefits to the Town,
  4. Silver Fancy will provide a well to the Town that will provide more than the amount of water consumed by the Silver Fancy residents.
  5. Silver Fancy traffic will be oriented to Route 15 (rather than through Town) because it is easier and quicker to get directly on Route 15 than go through Town.
  6. Development of Silver Fancy Farm is foreseeable. By annexing the property the Town maintains control of the development and acquires the ability to make the decisions necessary to insure that the development of the property is compatible with the existing community.

Much has been said about the perceived negative aspects of our project. We believe these negative perceptions are mainly the result of inaccurate information and misunderstandings of the annexation and development process. We want the residents of the Town of Emmitsburg to be well informed prior to taking a position on the proposed referendum of Silver Fancy Farm.

We ask you to examine all of the facts and develop an understanding of all aspects of our development proposal prior to making any decision.

If you have any questions or would like to meet with me please feel free to contact me at 301-696-0900 or

Thank you.

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