Planning Commission Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
Request to close Armstrong Lane
Sandy Wormley stated that she was concerned the
closure of Armstrong Lane would force the traffic onto
neighboring Hoffman Lane creating a greater problem
Wormley stated he agreed with Sandy Wormley's
Kevin Shorb (applicant) described the commuter traffic
flow through the Armstrong Lane as people cut between
West Main Street and Frahley Road. He was concerned
about the danger to children and would like to have
the situation addressed before an incident happened.
He commented that he would be willing to try increased
signage, speed bumps, or additional speed enforcement
prior to closure of Armstrong Lane.
Martin stated that this type of issue has come up in
the past and decisions were made to keep such routes
open for due to safety concerns such as fire access.
He suggested making the alternating alleys each one
way noting that there is a problem with speeding and
the amount of traffic. He agreed that closing one road
would only drive the traffic to the other.
Mr. Kapriva stated that it was probably not a good
idea to shut down Armstrong Lane and that perhaps an
assessment of the area should take place. Mr. Henry
asked if access might be controlled based on the time
of day. Mr. Lind commented that speed control would be
a start. Commissioner Walbrecker recommended
additional signage and speed bumps. Chairman Staiger
commented that there seemed to be a consensus not to
close Armstrong Lane but to initiate some sort actions
to control the speed of those using the road. Mr.
Kapriva then asked Mr. Shorb the predominant times
when there is a problem. Mr. Shorb replied that the
primary times were during the AM and PM commuting
periods. Chairman Staiger called for a motion.
MOTION: by Commissioner Walbrecker not to recommend
the closure of Armstrong Lane to the Mayor and Board
of Commissioners but to increase speed enforcement at
peak travel times, provide aggressive signage, and
provide speed bumps for all three affected streets:
Stoner, Hoffman, and Armstrong Lanes. The motion was
seconded by Mr. Henry. Vote: 5-0 to approve the motion
Standing Sign in Village Zone - Review sign
ordinance with recommendations to Mayor and Council
Mr. Kapriva asked if the existing ordinance applied
only to commercial properties. Mr. Lucas responded
that a home business would also be covered.
Commissioner Walbrecker stated that the P&Z Commission
which drafted the current ordinance envisioned signs
hanging from buildings or houses as is currently
common on Main Street. Chairman Staiger asked Mr.
Lucas if a variance might be allowable due to the
house being set back from the neighboring buildings.
Mr. Lucas responded no.
Thelma Richardson commented that she believed a
decision had already been decided on.
Harold Craig stated that signs were meant to be seen
from the street and visible to automobile traffic so
he supported a change. He believed the 35 foot set
back requirement was arbitrary.
Elder, President of Chronicle Press at 107 South Seton
Avenue, supported Ms. Richardson's free standing sign
request claiming that one size does not fit all. She
believed her own free standing sign request would be
approved as a pre-existing sign that was
grand-fathered in. If this was not the case, she would
have the same issue as Ms. Richardson. Ms. Elder
commented that the town seems to be encouraging
additional businesses and asked if there was a way to
change the ordinance or address different
circumstances on a case by case basis.
Commissioner Walbrecker stated that the ordinance
should not be site specific and that the intent was
not to have advertising for vehicular traffic but for
pedestrians on the street. She supported the staff
recommendation not to recommend a change in the
ordinance. Mr. Lind agreed with Commissioner
Walbrecker and would support the staff recommendation.
Mr. Henry stated he did not agree with the staff
recommendation. Mr. Kapriva commented that the current
ordinances appeared to be clear. Chairman Staiger
asked Ms. Richardson to express any particular
hardships she felt the current ordinances imposed. Ms.
Richardson replied that a sign at her location in
accordance with the current ordinance would not be
seen. Chairman Staiger thanked Ms. Richardson and
called for a motion. No motion was made by any
commission member. Chairman Staiger asked Mr. Lucas
the effect of the absence of a motion. Mr. Lucas
responded that if there was no motion, there was no
Plan - Continuing Review - Land Use
Commissioner Walbrecker and Chairman Staiger discussed
setting a time for a separate, public workshop.
Commissioner Walbrecker suggested June 12, 2004 from
10AM to 12PM. There was general agreement that this
would be acceptable. The Commission declared its
intent to review the first five policies listed on
page 41 of the current Comprehensive Plan.
There followed some discussion concerning upcoming
agenda items for the June 28, 2004 Meeting and how to
ensure that Commission members received all materials
relating to the upcoming meeting at least one week in