Planning Commission Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
September 16, 2004
Request to amend
resolution 90-2: Section XI - a resolution to
enlarge the boundaries of the Town of Emmitsburg, MD
by the annexation of 10.026 acres, more or less, by
Dan Reaver, Emmitsburg Glass Company -
Recommendation to the Mayor and Board of
Mr. Lucas reviewed
item 11 which states that the developer of the
property shall be responsible for a pro-rata share
of the construction of a bridge over Flat Run. He
noted that Dan Reaver purchased the property in
order to relocate his company, Emmitsburg Glass. Mr.
Lucas noted that the 1998 Comprehensive Plan shows a
collector road running from approximately Route 140
and Harney Road to the south to Creamery Road. This
road would require a bridge across Flat Run. Mr.
Lucas stated that Mr. Reaver felt the cost would
make it prohibitive to develop the property given
the construction costs, environmental concerns, and
the open time line.
Chairman Staiger asked
if there was a staff recommendation. Mr. Lucas
replied that there were several issues. The
Comprehensive Plan does call for this (road &
bridge) but doesn't state who should be responsible.
Further, he noted, that there was no dedicated right
of way for a road on the properties adjacent to Rte
140. The property would have to be taken by Eminent
Domain, which would be fairly difficult to do. It
was staff's opinion that, in order to develop a
parcel of property that was 10 acres, the cost of
construction of the bridge might render the property
Chairman Staiger asked
if there was a dedicated right of way at the
southern portion of the proposed collector road. Mr.
Lucas responded that 44 acres south of Flat Run and
adjacent to the property in question were platted as
a subdivision and did show the proposed collector
road going through that property to where it met
with the property in question. The town office has a
copy of this plat. The 44 acre property is not with
in the town limits.
Mr. Lind and Mr. Henry
asked why this requirement had been part of the
annexation agreement. Mr. Reaver commented that he
felt the condition may have been placed to prevent
George Stark Ford from relocating to the property
Mr. Henry asked if there were any plans for a bridge
or a road at this time. Mr. Lucas responded not to
staff's knowledge, although it does exist on the
Comprehensive Plan. There is enough room on the
property to build a road to collector status. The
question is the cost of the bridge.
Chairman Staiger asked if the Town had placed the
provision on the annexation agreement. Mr. Lucas
responded, "Evidently, yes."
Chairman Staiger asked if the 44 acre parcel had the
same requirement. Mr. Lucas said it did not.
Chairman Staiger asked if any other property along
the proposed road from Creamery Road to Rte 140 had
this requirement. Mr. Lucas responded, "No."
Mr. Dave Martin asked about the sequence of
annexations. Mr. Lucas responded that the property
in question would have been the last property
annexed. Mr. Martin asked what annexation was before
that. Mr. Lucas said he did not know. Mr. Martin
said it seemed to be an advantage to have a
collector road there. Mr. Lucas replied that there
was no reason not to have a collector road there -
the question was whether Mr. Reaver should be the
only one to pay for it (the bridge). Ms. Hope
Mahoney stated that she did not feel this was a fair
situation and that any cost should be shared.
Commissioner Dianne Walbrecker joined the meeting.
Chairman Staiger reviewed the meeting's progress.
Commissioner Wahlbrecker asked Mr. Lucas who would
pay for the construction of the collector road and
the bridge. Mr. Lucas responded that the property in
question had been annexed into the Town. The 44
acres to the north of the property in question and
south of Flat Run had a subdivision plat showing the
collector road which would normally be the
responsibility of developers to pay for. The plat
for that property shows the road ending in a dead
end, cul-de-sac prior to Flat Run. There was no
right-of-way to continue a collector road to the
north of Flat Run up to Rte 140. The cost of the
bridge would depend on whether it was built in the
town or the county.
Chairman Staiger stated that he had no problems with
the road or the bridge. The problem was that the
owner of the property in question was the only one
who bore any burden for the cost.
Commissioner Walbrecker asked if at some point 20
years from now the residents of Emmitsburg are going
to have to pay for that bridge. Mr. Lucas responded
only if they wanted a bridge there. Mr. Lucas
confirmed that all of the property in question was
within the growth boundary of the Town. He stated
that the critical question is that since the
construction of the bridge is open-ended and the
cost of the bridge can't be determined, this
restriction rendered the property undevelopable.
Commissioner Walbrecker asked if there were any cost
estimates for the bridge construction. Mr. Lucas
said this would require an engineering study. Mr.
Henry commented that with the difficulty in getting
a permit to cross Willow Run with a sewer/water line
(it took eight months to get one permit), he doubted
you would even be able to build a bridge there.
Commissioner Walbrecker stated that this may be a
point she hadn't considered.
Chairman Staiger stated that Mr. Reaver had no need
for this collector road since he already had road
frontage on Creamery Road. Mr. Lucas agreed that the
road and bridge do give an advantage to Mr. Reaver
since there would be no reason to go out to Rte 140.
Given this situation Chairman Staiger stated he did
not feel this was a legitimate requirement for this
property. Mr. Lucas again stated it was Mr. Reaver's
contention that the requirement made the property
Commissioner Walbrecker stated that to have a road
network in the area East of US 15 there would need
to be a bridge crossing Flat Run. Mr. Henry
responded that areas north of Flat Run could be
accessed from US 15 and Rte 140 while the areas
south of Flat Run could be accessed from US 15 and
Creamery Road. The bridge might be nice but not
practical. You could still have truck and car
There was then some discussion between the
commissioners, Mr. Lucas, and Mr. Reaver over the
proposed route of the collector road and the flood
plains present in the area.
Mr. Lind commented that we seem to be going round
and round and the bottom line is should the
provision be left on or taken off. Mr. Henry agreed.
Commissioner Walbrecker noted that the annexation
agreement did not transition properly when reading
from the bottom of page three to the top of page
four. Chairman Staiger and Mr. Lucas agreed.
Chairman Staiger stated that given the (Flat Run and
Tom's Creek) flood plains that exist and the
restrictions they would place on development, the
primary access to this area will always be via
Creamery Road from US 15. Route 140 will provide
primary access to the areas north of Route 140 and
between Flat Run and Route 140.
There was then some discussion over access to US 15
South from Creamery Road. Mr. Martin commented that
if direct access to southbound US 15 South is
prevented at Creamery Road, drivers will have to go
to Rte 140 and back across to go south bound. A
collector road and bridging of Flat Run might
alleviate this. Commissioner Walbrecker stated that
she did have a memo from the State Highway
Administration that the Creamery Road intersection
would eventually be made limited access. Mr. Lucas
confirmed the State would probably like to do this
due to the hazard of crossing the at grade
intersection. Mr. Lind agreed.
Commissioner Walbrecker stated that her main concern
was that the citizens of Emmitsburg not be required
to pay for a bridge at some point in the future.
Motion by Chairman Staiger and seconded by
The Planning and
Zoning Commission recommends to the Mayor and Board
of Commissioners that section 11 of Resolution 90-2
be eliminated having found that no other adjacent
property owner shares the burden for the
construction of the bridge and that the property has
no need for access requiring a bridge over Flat Run.
Approved 3-1 (In
Favor: Staiger, Lind, Henry, Opposed: Walbrecker)