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Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission sends master plan to town commissioners

Stephanie Long

(9/4) After countless hours of work and years of meetings and workshops, the Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission has finished work on the town’s master plan and has sent it to the Thurmont Board of Commissioners.

“I’m very pleased,” said John Kinnaird, chairperson of the planning commission. “It’s a good master plan that will guide the town for the next few years.”

Commissioner liaison Glenn Muth went further and said, “It’s the best plan this town has ever done.”

A unanimously approved motion at the Aug. 28 meeting took the plan out of the hands of the planning commission and sent it to town commissioners. During the work on the plan, which has spanned just over two years, much was discussed and debated regarding boundary changes, land use designations and such.

One of the main accomplishments of the commission’s work was the creation of two new land use designations. The Mixed Use Village designation was created, “to encourage small businesses to build and use existing buildings,” Kinnaird said. The designation also allows for small businesses and homes to be built on the same property. The commission also adjusted the growth boundary to “smooth” it out and included some properties in the new growth boundary.

Even though the plan has been passed on to the town commissioners and will eventually make its way to the Frederick County Commissioners, the planning commission still has the opportunity to tweak it in the future if necessary, Kinnaird said.

The planning commission will meet with town commissioners to discuss the document before it is officially presented at a town meeting. The date of that town meeting is unknown.

Mayor Martin Burns said during the Sept. 1 town meeting that he would like the commissioners to consider setting aside a definite amount of time during each town meeting to go over the draft master plan bit by bit.

“I want to be able to say that we looked at every single line they have in there,” Burns said.

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