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

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
August 4, 2003

Committee reports

Commissioner Sweeney reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission would hold a special meeting on the 19th of August in addition to the regular meeting on August 25, regarding the Bollinger annexation and re-zoning change. Representing the Streets and Transportation Committee, Commissioner Pat Boyle reported they would have no August meeting due to vacations but would resume in September.

Commissioner Joyce Rosensteel, representing the Parks Committee, that the concerts in the park were going very well. The next concert scheduled is for August 17th, and their meeting scheduled for the 19th would be held in the Memorial Park pavilion. No Board of Appeals meeting was needed during July.



Commissioner Boyle: This was approved at the July 7, 2003 Town Meeting but was vetoed by the Mayor. It is now back on the agenda to be re-considered for a possible veto override vote. I have read over the Mayor's veto. We did not specify a particular area, we said it would be for all the R-1 district. It should be mentioned in here to look at all the residential zones. It should have been all in here by staff if you wanted all R-1. Dave Haller: Commissioner Boyle the reason it wasn't put in there for all by staff, is because you were talking of one particular property, not all. Staff has shown R-2 and R-3 for this meeting , but before it was not asked to be done this way.

Mayor Hoover: the advertisement that took place was for this specific one not any one that would comply. Now we are considering R-2 and R-3. You can do R-1 tonight but you will have to come back to do the R-2 and R-3 at a later date, you cannot amend the first one to include these. Mayor Hoover: just what are we going to gain by supporting this. Commissioner Elder and Boyle: more tax money for one thing. Mayor Hoover: we need to have some diversity, different sized and priced homes, they can't all be $300,000. homes. If you do the people that are here now, if they want to move but stay in town, how are they going to afford to? They'll have to move somewhere else, because you've priced them out. Commissioner Boyle: that's what I'm looking for the tax money, I'd rather have the money off a $300,000. house than a $200,000. house.

MOTION: To over ride the Mayor's veto on the R-1 building restriction line. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.


Commissioner Boyle: Mayor Hoover has asked that the proposed emergency warning system be placed on the agenda for discussion. This has been going on since February, we all visited LaPlata to see their system. This year, so far alone, LaPlata has had 4 warnings. Mayor Hoover: what I'm asking is I have talked to Wayne Richards from Whalen Sirens. We have a bid proposal from them. We would have 3 units to cover the entire Town, on the West, East and 1 located at the pool. This would be in addition to the one the Mount is purchasing and the one that the Fire Academy is purchasing. They will not be incorporated with us in the purchase of our system.

The system is designed to be incorporated with central dispatch. This is where it would be manned from. What I am asking is for this Council to be responsible for the funding of this system. The package would be $69,000. for the equipment, $22,000. for the installation and $8,000. additional. It could be accessed through the Fire Hall as well. The total package would be around $100,000.. I would like to borrow this money internally. Dave Haller: what the Mayor is talking about internally is borrowing the money through the water/sewer enterprise fund. What I recommend to you is that, you document how much to borrow from the fund, when and how it will be paid back to that fund. Commissioner Elder: I support it but, I don't want to see the water/sewer fund touched for anything but the water/sewer department.

MOTION: To go forward with the project and later discuss the funding. VOTE: 3-1 in favor of the motion (Commissioner Elder - Against)

VILLAGE CENTER ZONING - side building restriction line

Commissioner Boyle: It has been brought to the attention of some of the Commissioners that the residents would like to have the "village center zoning" put on the agenda, especially the "side building restriction line" requirements. In the olde-towne (which would be the main streets) the homes are built right against each other. Dave Haller: I know some of the Commissioners have come to me with the problems some of the people are having when they want to enlarge their homes or add a structure, they are built on one side right on the property line. Right now they can't because on one side you have an 8' setback and the other you have to have a 6' utility easement.

Most all the lots are 30', if you take 6' off each side you have 18' left to work with, which is not enough for anything. Unless you want to store 2 motorcycles. If you do away with one of these setbacks the fire and ambulance can still access the rear of these properties. If you change this ordinance you could then build, via a board of appeals, on the property line on one side. This would give you a case -by- case basis to work with . We could put something on the agenda for the next meeting, staff should have time to work it up. Decision: To have staff work up a proposed ordinance for the September meeting.

SECTION 10.12.110 Parking in Public Streets: modification of ordinance

Commissioner Boyle: it has been suggested that this section be revised-- so as to limit its enforcement to East and West Main Streets and North and South Seton Avenues. We have had a lot of complaints from people in the subdivisions being ticketed for this ordinance. We would like to modify this ordinance to exclude the subdivisions. Dave Haller: maybe this ordinance is to broad a stroke. Where you have limited parking on the Main Streets, it would be a good ordinance, however, the subdivisions are different. They have abundant parking in most of the subdivisions.

Decision: To have staff draft a couple options to this ordinance and bring back to the September meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Lisa Elder, Silver Spring, Md. commented regarding the way they do it in her neighborhood and several other neighborhoods where she lives, they issue permits for the subdivisions, that way since they all have trouble parking, they know who to ticket, who doesn't belong in a certain subdivision, etc.

Bill O'Neil, 3010 Stonehurst Drive, Emmitsburg, Md. commented we have 4 car driveways but no parking signs were put up recently. Some of the neighbors have like 12 cars. Really what we would like to see is to have the ability to park in front of our homes, if we have company. We would appreciate if you would remove the signs, just from one side of the street, let them park on the other.

Peter Mannix, 512 West Main Street, Emmitsburg, Md.: my house is right on Main Street, I have no parking off street at all. Where we are though it isn't metered, could this be addressed maybe? If I have to move 1 of my cars, where do I put it with no off street parking?


Commissioner Boyle: I asked for this to be brought up. I would like to see this well brought on line. Dave Haller: as you know, well no. 4 was drilled about 1/3 of a mile up the Mountain in the direction of the reservoir. It is permitted for 40,000 gallons a day. Our citizens would like to see more consistent water. Especially when the reservoir goes down, this 40,000 gallons a day well can be piped in. Its all permitted and ready to go. We need $35,000.- $40,000. to bring it on line.

MOTION: To bring well 4 on line. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion

RESOLUTION 2003-02R: Nominations Amending Article IV, Section 3 of the Charter

Commissioner Boyle: this a Resolution to amend the Emmitsburg Charter. This resolution will amend Article IV, Section 3 of the Charter entitled Nominations. This resolution will remove specific days and refer to an ordinance in the Code of Emmitsburg. A person filing a certificate of candidacy could file up to 7 days before the election, this does not give enough time for absentee ballots to be prepared and returned.

MOTION: To amend and approve as amended Resolution 2003-02R amending of the charter and replace Town Manager with Town Clerk. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

ORDINANCE - Amendment 03-06: Elections - filing of candidacy

Commissioner Boyle: This ordinance amends the last day that a candidate can file his/her written application for candidacy with the Town Clerk. The current time of 7 days does not allow enough time to prepare ballots, including the absentee ballots. With an amendment of 21 days you should have more then sufficient time to make the necessary preparations.

MOTION: To approve Ordinance 03-07, with the change from 7 to 21 days. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.

RESOLUTION 2003-05R: Mayor's term of Office

Commissioner Boyle: This Resolution amends the terms of the siting Mayor from May to October to coincide with changing the election from May to October. Hereafter the Mayor's term will expire on the first Monday in October in the third year following his/her election.

After much discussion it was decided to table this Resolution until September.

RESOLUTION 2003-04R: Commissioners' term of Office

Commissioner Boyle: This Resolution amends the term of the sitting Commissioners from May to October to coincide with changing the election from May to October. Hereafter all Commissioners terms will expire on the first Monday of October.

After much discussion this item was also tabled until the September meeting with the following motion being withdrawn.

MOTION: To withdraw the motion for agenda item 7 and table all three agenda items #7, #8 and #9 until the September meeting. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion


Harold Craig, 103 West Main Street, Emmitsburg, MD. informed the council that he did not feel they should extend their own terms, but start with the next administration.

Sabrina Paxton-Daily, 12 Zanella Drive, Emmitsburg, MD. also stated she did not feel they should extend their own terms of office.

Mr. William O'Neil, 3010 Stonehurst Drive, Emmitsburg, MD. Same as above, with the exception they should only serve the term they were elected for, no more.

ORDINANCE amendment 03-11: Zoning review fees

Commissioner Boyle: This amendment is being requested to correct the cost for the requesting of re-zoning. The fee was changed via Policy #P99-03 on March 15, 1999, this section of the Code was missed when changes were being made. In 1999 the ordinance was amended to refer to the Review Fees schedule and this section was missed.

MOTION: To approve Ordinance 03-11 as stipulated. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion

RESOLUTION 2003-06R: Meetings of the Mayor and Council

Commissioner Boyle: This item is a resolution to amend section 2.04.020 of the Emmitsburg Municipal Code, as it relates to meetings of the Mayor and Council. Dave Haller: all this is in relation to is updating our code to match the existing annotated code of Maryland that we use for closed meetings.

MOTION: To approve Resolution 2003-06R as amended , the last line to read, and the Board shall provide a reasonable opportunity for public comments to be heard at regular monthly meetings regarding all town matters. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion


Commissioner Boyle: This item is to investigate and discuss some of the possibilities for increasing the parking at the Post Office. Staff has provided 2 possibilities for extra parking at the Post Office. Both of these will be by utilizing the end of the park area directly across from the driveway at the Post Office, which also belongs to the Town. The Board then discussed at length both options (see attachment 4)

MOTION: To accept Option B after funding has been researched. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion

ORDINANCE 8.12.040: Removal of grass and weeds

Commissioner Boyle: This item will be for discussion only since it was added to the agenda late, and has not been advertised. It was brought to our attention by some residents at the last Town Meeting that they feel the height of 18" is too high for the grass and weed ordinance. Dave Haller: I believe what we could do is to rewrite the ordinance leaving the 18" height for vacant lots and field areas, and lower the height for yards. Commissioner Elder: I'd like to see the yards stay at around 6" - 9" before they would be in violation.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Dot Davis, 60 Second Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD. suggested that the council consider 6" mainly because one of these yards with continually high grass is close to me and it just makes everyone's yard look awful.

To modify the ordinance for 6"-9" in residential areas and leave the 18" for non residential areas. This is to be drafted for September's meeting.


Commissioner Boyle: This is a letter of request for support by Ms. Dianne Walbrecker. Diane Walbrecker: All we are asking for is for the Town to send just a letter of support no money to the State Highway Administration. What this letter of support will do is draw business into the Towns along Rt. 15 by placing strategic signs along the road, notifying motorists of what Town is coming and some of the things they have to offer. For example, Mt. St. Mary's, FEMA, restaurants, etc. It could help make money for the businesses in Town and will not actually cost the Town anything to participate in, other than the letter of support.

MOTION: To draft a letter of support for the "US 15 Town Gateway and Wayfinding Plan". VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion


Commissioner Boyle: Mayor Hoover, I will turn this over to you now. Mayor Hoover: we have got a very good response from the citizens in regards to the committee appointments that we had been trying to fill over the last several months. One resident of Emmitsburg who has responded Mr. Scott McClendon of 23 Robindale Drive, has expressed his interest in the Ethics Committee. I would like to see you appoint Scott to this position, especially since he is a resident and he has responded to a position we have been trying to fill. The other two applicants 1 from Carroll Valley and 1 from Gaithersburg I'm not sure about the one from Gaithersburg, this is quite a ways away. Although they do not have to be a Town resident for this committee. However, the other applicant is close. They live in Carroll Valley and have ties to Emmitsburg through family. Commissioner Boyle: maybe we could interview the applicant from Carroll Valley like we did the planner, see if they are what we want.

MOTION: To appoint Scott McClendon to the Ethics Committee.  VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion

NEW EMPLOYEE - Planner Appointment

Commissioner Boyle: after having advertised for a planer, we sorted through and held interviews with 3 of the applicants, after the 2nd set of interviews it was decided to hire Mr. Michael Lucas.

MOTION: To hire Mr. Michael Lucas as Planner at Grade 11, Step 3 on the salary chart. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of motion