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Residents take a look at region plan

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(2/15) Frederick County had its second open house for the Thurmont Region Plan on Feb.5 at Thurmont Middle School. The first open house had been held at the Emmitsburg Community Center a week earlier.

County Planner Denis Superczynski said, “There was a lot of interest in the (Emmitsburg) bypass. Also, we heard the various flavors of too much growth and not enough growth.”

The Thurmont Region of Frederick County is bordered by Washington County to the west, Pennsylvania to the north, Carroll County to the east and various streams and the Monocacy River to the south.

The region plan looks at the future development of the area except for Thurmont and Emmitsburg, which have their own master plans because they are municipalities. Both towns are currently updating their plans as well.

“This is probably the first-ever region plan where the municipalities have also had their master plan underway at the same time,” Gugel said at the Emmitsburg open house.

The county plugs the information approved in municipal master plans into the region plans.

The other difference with this region plan is that in the past Frederick County has run the comprehensive planning process and zoning process simultaneously. This has created a gray area if someone is requesting a rezoning, whether it should be measured against the existing zoning in the old plan or the expected zoning in the plan being updated.

Russ Smith came out to look over the maps and in particular to look for his house. “I wanted to check out the zoning map because before they had my house in a different zoning.”

Carroll Roderick and his wife Barbara were also interested in what the county planned for the future of the region. They moved to Jermae Estates from Frederick last year.

“We’re both in agreement that we’d like to see the development of stores,” Carroll said. “We’re for a Wal-Mart, though most of the old people in town don’t want to see it.”

Linda Junker came to the open house from Emmitsburg. “This plan typically affects me more because I live in the county,” she said.

She was trying to find out more information about where an Emmitsburg bypass might run. She spent time looking at the maps and talking to the Frederick County planning division staff who were on hand to answer questions.

Public hearings before the county planning and zoning commission are expected to be in June and the plan could be approved in October or November.

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