Town Growth and Development
For the past several months the
Emmitsburg Planning and Zoning committee has been working
very hard to update the Emmitsburg Comprehensive Plan. This
plan is a twenty-year plan that is updated every 5 years. In
my October 2003 article, I suggested to the citizens, this
is the time to get involved and attend the Planning and
Zoning meetings and give public comments.
With the amount of criticism related
to Town growth and development that elected officials and
members of the Town staff have received over the past two
years, it is unbelievable to know how poorly attended the
Planning and Zoning meetings are being attended. In addition
to the regular monthly meetings held on the last Monday of
each month, the Planning and Zoning committee has also held
additional meetings at other times. This effort is being
made to give residents who are not normally available on
Monday evenings the opportunity to at least attend some of
the meetings. No one is expected to attend every meeting,
but it is impossible for the Planning and Zoning Committee,
Town staff and your elected officials to hear your concerns
without your participation. Community input is a necessity
in updating a comprehensive plan.
When a developer comes to a town
with a plan of how to make money, his plan is faced with
adhering to town policies, ordinances and a comprehensive
plan. If a developer does not meet the town's regulations,
the town may reject his request. However, if the town has
over looked something, the developer may be permitted to
move forward with his plan/ request simply due to an
oversight in the planning stages of the town's regulations.
It is very difficult and costly (many times impossible) for
a town to modify its regulations that will prohibit and or
restrict a developers request after he has made a formal
request to the town.
The most recent development the Town
has seen in the past five years or so (Silo hill, Pembrook,
Brookfield and South Gate) is a great example of why we need
to have a well thought out long-term comprehensive plan.
Although I have personally been accused in letters to the
editor of wanting to over develop, I was not part of the
Town Government when the current developments under
construction were approved. After more than a dozen years
after these developments were approved for construction the
Town is just now beginning to see the effects of those
actions. We must plan today for want we want tomorrow!
For more information on planning and
Zoning meeting dates and times, contact the Emmitsburg
Planning and Zoning department at 240-629-6303, watch cable
channel 99 or go to www.emmitsburgmd.gov and check out our
If you have any questions, please
feel free to call the town office, or e-mail me at
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