James Rada, Jr.
(5/15) Vickie Grinder and Thomas
Cromwell think that the current process of
allowing developers to submit plans for what
they want to develop in Thurmont is the wrong
way for the town to grow.
“We need to tell them what we want,”
Grinder, who is Thurmont’s Main Street
Manager, recently told the commissioners
during a meeting.
“The thing that I see lacking is a
She said the town needs to be strategically
planning and designing how the town should
look in the future.
“Any grant I’ve ever applied for this is
the missing piece we always seem to have,”
Grinder said. “It seems like we’re still in
the dark ages so to speak.”
She said that decisions made about the
future growth of Thurmont are being made based
on the personal opinions of the commissioners
and not following a well-thought-out plan. One
result of such actions is that Thurmont is not
a business-friendly town.
Mayor Martin Burns said that the problem is
that “a plan is only as good as the next
board.” While the current board might put
together a plan that wins approval, a new
board could come in and throw the plan out and
start from scratch if it wanted to.
Burns also pointed out that having too
specific a plan could tie the hands of the
commissioners as they negotiate annexation
agreements because a developer would know
exactly what the town wants on a piece a land
and offer nothing more.
Thurmont Planning and Zoning Chairman John
Kinnaird also pointed out a contradiction in
the argument for a strategic plan. It is being
argued that a strategic plan is needed to
maintain the town’s quality of life because
otherwise the commissioners will make
decisions based on personal opinion, which
won’t be as good as a plan. However, Kinnaird
pointed out that those commissioners acting
without a strategic plan, created a quality of
life that the proponents for a strategic plan
want to maintain.
The commissioners said they would be
willing to consider a draft plan to decide if
it is too restrictive or points the town in a
direction on which they agree.