James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Region in Frederick County is
currently in the middle of what is expected to
be its fastest growth period for the next 25
years. It’s growing at 2 percent a year.
to the draft region plan that the Frederick
County Planning Commission could vote on as
early Oct. 24 after the public hearing at
Mount St. Mary’s University, the region is
growing about 2 percent a year from 2000 to
2010. However, this is the peak growth decade
between 1970 and 2030. By 2020-2030, the
region will be growing at a 1 percent a year.
Thurmont Region Plan was last updated in 1995.
It essentially covers the northern handle of
Frederick County and includes Thurmont and
Emmitsburg. The total area it encompasses is
77,833 acres, which is actually smaller than
the region in 1995. This is because a portion
of the 1995 region below Kellys Store Road in
the Catoctin Furnace area is now in the
Frederick Region Plan.
The Catoctin Furnace area, however, was
considered in some of the analysis pertaining
to transportation and land use issues in the
Thurmont Region Plan Update to avoid
splintering of key discussions and resulting
solutions affecting the Catoctin Furnace area
and US 15 corridor,” the draft plan notes.
Thurmont Region has increased 5,872 residents
or about 40 percent over the last 36 years.
With that growth in population has come a
shift from residing outside of town to
residing in either Emmitsburg or Thurmont.
1970, approximately 90% of the region’s
population growth has occurred within these
two municipal growth centers,” the plan reads.
is expected to grow to 25,553 in 2030 or a 31
percent increase. The question will be where
all these new residents will live.
two community growth areas, the current
residential subdivision development pipeline
is severely limited. Considering the regional
average of over 100 residential permits per
year since 1995, the number of available
recorded lots barely supports three years of
residential development. Furthermore, with few
residential lots being approved in the
municipalities in recent years, the supply of
potential residential sites is being depleted
without new lots being made available,” the
development in the region is also facing new
the City of Frederick continues to be a retail
magnet for the Thurmont Region, newly emerging
commercial centers in Taneytown, MD,
Gettysburg, PA and Waynesboro, PA are
beginning to offer alternative shopping
destinations for north County residents,”
according to the draft region plan.
also seeing some changes. The region now has
70 farms totaling 8,571 acres in some form of
will also continue to be a problem in the
region, but not necessarily from region
residential development as well as the
potential for substantially more such activity
in neighboring jurisdictions north of the
Mason-Dixon Line present a key challenge to
both county and municipal plans in the
Thurmont Region. Over 12,000 residential units
were proposed in 2005 and 2006 in Adams County
alone. Much of this growth potential is set to
occur in Townships and Boroughs along the US
15 corridor and will likely feed
already-developing traffic problems in
Frederick County,” according to the plan.
the 1995 plan, the community growth boundary
for Thurmont is shrinking while the boundary
is increasing for Emmitsburg.
the draft plan are available from the
Frederick County Planning Division.