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

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Ordinance No. ______

An Ordinance to Enact and Establish a Temporary Moratorium on the Issuance and Approval of Site Plans and Record Plats in and Around the Town of Emmitsburg

WHEREAS, The Town of Emmitsburg operates a sanitary sewer system for the benefit of its citizens. The system is comprised of approximately 50,000 lineal feet of service mains, constructed primarily of either terra cotta clay tile or Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) pipe. The system includes a wastewater treatment plant constructed in 1988 and licensed by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to treat a maximum of 800,000 gallons per day; and

WHEREAS, the sanitary sewer system is seriously deficient in that leaks and other openings in the service mains and in manholes to allow water from rain and snow and other ground water (wild water) to enter the service mains, thereby increasing the demand on system, including the treatment capacity of the wastewater treatment plant. This deficiency, referred to as Infiltration and Inflow (I and I), is a recurring problem which is exacerbated in times of precipitation, and the problem taxes the system beyond its licensed capacity and produces frequent discharges of raw sewage from the sanitary sewer manholes; and

WHEREAS, in the year 2003, there were fourteen (14) separate occasions when the plant exceeded its capacity by more than two (2) times its licensed capacity (1,600,000 gallons per day), five (5) separate occasions when it exceeded its capacity by more that three (3) times its licensed capacity (2,400,000 gallons per day), and (1) time when it exceeded its capacity by more that four (4) times its licensed capacity (3,200,000 gallons per day). Additionally, during the years 2002 - 2003, there were at least ten (10) discharges of raw and inadequately treated sewage into Flat Run and Little Run Creeks. The least of these discharges was one thousand (1,000) gallons, and on two (2) occasions, there were discharges totaling over one million (1,000,000) gallons each. These excesses and discharges constitute serious environmental hazards, create public health and safety risks, result in additional stress on the wastewater treatment plant, increase its operating costs, require additional attention of Town personnel, and expose the Town to fines and other enforcement and disciplinary action by MDE and the federal government;

WHEREAS, the Town Planning Staff has made recommendations relating to, and has outlined a plan to address, the deficiencies in the sewer system, including but not limited to, the establishment of a program to comprehensively study and evaluate the nature, extent and cause of the deficiencies, and to fund a Capital Budget and Improvement Plan to repair, correct and eliminate the deficiencies; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Commissioners have determined that the Infiltration and Inflow deficiencies in the sanitary sewer system, including discharges of raw and inadequately treated sewerage into the waters of the State, create and result in serious environmental, health and safety hazards, and that such hazards constitute and menace and are a nuisance prejudicial to the health, safety and comfort of the public; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Emmitsburg has experienced increased development and growth in the number of new residential housing units constructed and the number of building permits applied for, and there are currently plans on the part of landowners to construct additional housing units which, if constructed and connected to the Town sewer system will place additional burdens on that system; and

WHEREAS, by restricting and precluding municipal approval of development site plans and record plats that would increase demand for and/or the volume of sanitary sewage, and by restricting and precluding any further connections to the municipal sewer system for properties situated outside the municipal boundaries, the Town can reduce, to a limited degree, the impact which new additions to the Town sewerage system would otherwise have on the deficiencies which currently characterize that system; and

WHEREAS, in order to give the Town time to address the sewer system deficiencies and make appropriate and needed studies, repairs and improvements to its infrastructure, the Town intends by this Ordinance to establish, for a temporary and limited period of time, a moratorium on the approval of development site plans and record plats and on new and additional connections to the Town sewer system for properties situated outside the municipal boundaries of Emmitsburg.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the Town of Emmitsburg, Maryland as follows:

SECTION I. There is hereby imposed, on a temporary and interim basis, and for the immediate preservation of the public health and safety, and for the protection of the sanitary sewerage system of the Town of Emmitsburg, a moratorium on (1) any new or additional development site plan approvals, (2) any new or additional record plat approvals, or (3) any new or additional connections to the Town sewer system for any property situated outside the municipal boundaries of Emmitsburg. Until such moratorium is terminated by the Town, the Town shall not approve any new additional development site plans or record plats and shall not authorize or permit any new or additional connections to the Town sewer system for any property situated outside the municipal boundaries of Emmitsburg. This moratorium shall not be applicable to any property presently utilizing Town sewer services on the effective date of this Ordinance, but which subsequently requires new site plan approval or record plat approval after, and as a result of, disruption to its existing service due to damage to or destruction of improvements situated on the property.

SECTION II. The recommendations of the Town Planning Staff, as outlined in its report dated January 2004 " Sanitary Sewer Collection System; An Analysis" are hereby adopted. The Town shall promptly, and as soon as reasonably practical, formulate, establish, adopt and implement a program to study, evaluate, repair, improve and correct the deficiencies in the Town sewer system. The Town shall regularly, and at no less than 90 day intervals, review the program and shall make any such revisions to the program as may be necessary to correct the sewer system deficiencies with all due haste.

SECTION III. This moratorium shall continue for a limited time in order to complete the evaluation and studies required to address the deficiencies in the system, and to undertake and complete the necessary improvements so as to eliminate those deficiencies. This moratorium shall continue and remain in effect until such time that, for a period of at least one hundred and eighty (180) continuous days, the Town wastewater treatment plant does not exceed its licensed treatment capacity of 800,000 gallons per day.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, ENACTED AND ORDAINED that this Ordinance shall take effect on the date on which the Mayor approves the Ordinance after passing by the Board of Commissioners or on the date on which the Board of Commissioners pass the Ordinance over the veto of the Mayor.

PASSED this _______ day of ______________________, 2004 by a vote of _______for _________against __________absent and _______________abstain.


___________________________ By:________________________________

Donna Thompson, Town Clerk Patrick Boyle, President



this _______ day of ______________________, 2004.



James Hoover, Mayor

I hereby certify that the foregoing Ordinance has been posted as required by Chapter 2.04 of the Emmitsburg Municipal Code and as directed by the provisions of this Ordinance.

Date: _________________ ___________________________________

Donna Thompson, Town Clerk

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