Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland

October 2003

Town to Update
Comprehensive Plan

Over the past eighteen months there has been much discussion about development in our town. Are Emmitsburg’s planning and zoning ordinances and regulations adequate? Are they old and out dated? Do they need to be refined and amended? If you answered yes or you’re not sure about these questions or you have questions and concerns of your own, you need to be aware that the town will soon be reviewing and updating the comprehensive plan.

The Emmitsburg Town Planner with the Planning & Zoning Committee will take the lead in updating the current comprehensive plan. During the review of the comprehensive plan citizens will be asked for their input. This is the time to express your thoughts. Don’t wait until after the plan is updated and approved. It will be another five years before it is reviewed again. You do not need to join a committee to give public input; your thoughts and comments are accepted at all planning & zoning committee meetings.

After the Planning and Zoning Committee make their final revisions to the plan, they will pass it on to the Town Council for them to review and make any changes they feel appropriate. After the Town Council has made their final changes, they will approve it as the official Town of Emmitsburg Comprehensive Plan. Once the Town Council approves the plan it becomes one of the major tools used by the Town Council, Planning & Zoning Committee and outside developers to make recommendations and requests for future development.

A good comprehensive plan that has the true and realistic vision of the town can be a valuable resource. A comprehensive plan that does not have the true vision of the citizens in town, but is put in place just because the town is required to do so, will undoubtedly become the thorn that begins the cycle that creates unwanted irreversible changes to the town.

As you are aware, the town is currently going through an unusual amount of development. This can be a scary time for some. In today’s society, change is inevitable. We all know as the State of Maryland changes, Frederick County changes. Emmitsburg will change too. We cannot stop change, but we can control it. But, we can only control it if we work together and create a vision for the town and document it.

The Mayor, Town Council and Planning & Zoning committee members are required by law to follow written policies and ordinances. In the next few months the Town’s Planning & Zoning committee will start the process to begin the updating of the comprehensive plan. Watch the Town’s Cable Channel 99; check out the Planning & Zoning meeting agendas on our website for more information on the comprehensive plan; or call Mike Lucas, Town Planner, at 301-447-2313.

I can assure you that the Town is taking the current development and requests for future development very seriously. Some of our oldest sewer lines and water lines are in the process to be replaced and plans are being discussed to replace several others. The Town’s water supply is adequate for all of the planned development. However, the town’s sewer and water delivery systems’ pipes are a serious concern. Due to the poor condition of many pipes, the town has lost as much as 80,000 gallons of water per day through leaking pipes. We are currently addressing leaks in our system and will continue to search for and repair other leaks.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the town office, or e-mail me at

Jim Hoover

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