Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
February 2nd, 2004
Town Manager Report - reported on the public works department monthly activities to include a water production and consumption analysis. The infiltration rate for January was only 16% because of frozen ground. He announced that bids
for the water line and sewer line rehab projects were opened January 21. Out of 4 bids being reviewed for the water line, $402,937 was the low bid but was 25% higher than the engineer's projected, estimated cost. Only one bid was received for the sewer line rehab–$703,048--
100% higher than the engineer's construction estimate. Both bids are being reviewed and evaluated by the engineer. He also enumerated the parking violation statistics and reported that 34 permits were issued to include 32 new houses–13 in Southgate and 19 in Brookfield. Other
January activities including meetings were highlighted. In answer to inquiries from Commissioners Boyle and Sweeney, Mr. Haller advised that advertising for bids was to commence on the park bathrooms.
Police Report - Deputy Moxley: The department has a new format for reports, so there is no traffic report for the December period. He enumerated December activities to include 64 checks of water supply area. Detailed report at Exhibit
B. He announced that the Rocket club is up to 12 members.
Committee reports - Commissioner Sweeney for the Planning and Zoning Commission: no meeting scheduled this month but announced that the alternate position is available again due to the resignation of the new appointee. Representing the
Streets & Transportation Committee, Commissioner Boyle reported a meeting on January 13. The committee still want to meet with state re the traffic light on square, mirror at square, and announced that they still need a committee member, new: complaints on square re school
crossings. The next meeting is February 10. Commissioner Joyce Rosensteel stated that the Parks Committee will meet February 17. There was no Board of Appeals meeting needed. There was no Water Committee meeting because of weather.
PUBLIC HEARING Annexation - Bollinger Properties, LLC
Jim Gugel, Frederick County Planning spoke to the annexation petition in regards to include zoning, comprehensive plan, water and sewer provisions.
Michael Lucas, Town Planner presented like matters and stated that this section is the "hole in the doughnut" to other property included in town limits and owned by the petitioner. He stated that home construction on this property is most
likely to happen and it makes the most sense to be able to control the building by annexation. He has recommended 9 items of condition for annexation. See Exhibit C.
Bruce Dean, attorney for the petitioner Bollinger Homes, LLC spoke stating that the annexation is consistent with county, town and state smart growth directives. The petitioner has agreed to all the conditions of annexation as proposed by the
planner. He added that the petitioner has owned this land for a long time, and would like to work with the town. The land will be developed anyway and feels that it's better to work with the town to control its destiny. He stated that the development presents a reasonably low
Harold Craig , 103 W Main Street tremendous impact on quality of life here, taxes will go up, traffic will be worse, school will have more trailers, sewer impact, NO annexation or new development until approved,
Catherine Forrence, 404 West Main Street suggested an alternative use, that the town purchase the land for a park.
Betsey Forrence, 17247 Annandale Road expressed that with this annexation the town will lose its small town character.
William O'Neil, 3010 Stonehurst Court, on behalf of COPE, spoke in opposition.
Larry Little, DePaul Street, there's not much more burden, these are the same problems as 50 years ago, even after the growth from 50 years ago. "Work with them, say 15 or 20" units. We have much more serious problems to the west from
Commissioner Boyle takes exception to Mr Craig's comments, the town gave MSM (in a prior annexation consideration but withdrawn) an exception of 3 years. The Bollingers have accepted a 25 unit maximum the 1st year and accepted upgrading
Irishtown Road. "How can you say the town is not getting something?" The town would also be getting $75,000 to upgrade the wastewater treatment system from this annexation.
Commissioner Elder expressed that it's not the right time–"it's a good project but not in favor until sewer is straightened out."
Commissioner Sweeney added that he was for annexation, always has been for smart growth. From1940 to 1980 there was no growth at all, nothing for the children to do. In regards to the comment re buying the land for a park, "We have more
parkland than any other community in Frederick County" (per person). This property is surrounded completely by town land. The petitioner will redo the bridge and Irishtown Road. The town would be controlling land that will be developed anyway,
Commissioner Rosensteel, concerned mainly with getting the sewer line repaired, for annexation (only single family detached).
Concerning the misconception about being tax exempt, it was explained that the annexed property will be subject to taxes upon signing the annexation resolution. Only in the event of a building moratorium would temporary tax relief be granted.
Under a moratorium this property could not be developed if annexed.
Further discussion between the Board and the petitioner produced a change in the maximum amount of tax exemption to the lesser of 1) the end of a moratorium (if enacted) or 2) 3 years (instead of the original 5 years).
MOTION: To accept the Bollinger Homes, LLC annexation petition with the recommended exceptions and changes.
The motion was made by Commissioner Boyle and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney.VOTE: 3-1 in favor of the motion Commissioner Elder opposed
MOTION: To adjourn the PUBLIC HEARING portion of the meeting.
The motion was made by Commissioner Rosensteel and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney.
VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion
PARKS EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT - PURCHASE REQUEST
Dave Haller presented a request for authorization of up to $5000 for a swing set in Community Park. The present swing set is beyond repair and must be removed for safety reasons
MOTION: To authorize $5000 to replace the swing set in Community Park VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion.
ROOF REPLACEMENT ON RENTAL PROPERTY
Mr. Haller presented the Board with a request to replace the roof on the Scott Road farmhouse. This is the only property included in the Ski Mountain property with historical rehab value. The roof is in bad condition and was recently patched
but must be replaced to prevent further deterioration. Once rehabed this historic farmhouse could serve as a meeting place for town-sponsored youth and civic activities and remain an asset to the community. Of 3 bids received, Coldsmith Roofing Inc is the low bidder at $8995.
All bids listed identical specs and materials. He stated that he has contacted the low bidder and got commitment to start in April.
MOTION: To accept Coldsmith Roofing's bid of $8995 for replacing the roof on the town-owned farmhouse on Scott Road. VOTE: 4-0 in favor of the motion
MANAGED GROWTH PLAN
This agenda item is the final consideration of a proposed ordinance to establish a temporary moratorium on the approval of site plans and record plats, which this Board previously reviewed and conditionally approved the wordage therein.
One change was mentioned to add the word "entirely in Section 1, item 3: "any new or additional for any property situated entirely outside"...
Mr. Lucas read the ordinance. He explained that this ordinance is being brought back in the exact form from the previous meeting. He has presented a memo to clarify to the council those concerns brought out in the press this very day
concerning commercial development limitation. Exhibit D.
It was discussed that the original managed growth proposal allocated taps based on a formula. This moratorium, in lieu of that, does not allow the flexibility of the original plan. As the proposed ordinance stands, it precludes any commercial
development until such moratorium is lifted.
Buzzy Hess, owner of commercial property around Sleep Inn, asked to be excluded. He stated that he has several users interested, and will work with the commissioners. " Please allow it to go forward."
Don Briggs, 137 South Seton, stated that he is a member of the EBPA (stating that 10 members are in attendance at the meeting tonight) and COPE and that any of the extremes would be bad for the town in not meeting the needs of the town. The
town needs managed growth, commercial development pays taxes, but sends no one to the school, "work where you live" bring jobs here. COPE likes commercial development.
Dan Reaver, 2 Creamery Road, stated that he cannot believe how it's evolved, reversed wanting industry in the town, felt that there would be no impact because of the location, and his business uses less than 130 gpd with 40 people. "Our
infrastructure is already in place, we currently have 3 contracts to bring 100 jobs". He has sold and will build a larger facility but with a moratorium, he will have to go out of town. He added that he is reinvesting profits back into the community and asked for reconsider
before enacting a moratorium.
Philip Topper, Counsel for Emmitsburg Glass Company, also expressed support for managed growth concerning residential development and requested commercial development exclusion. He presented a proposed amendments to the ordinance to the
Scott Miller for RJD Development Reviewed draft ordinance, agreed with efforts to resolve those problems. The problem needs to be addressed for moratorium growth issue, about addressing a concern with the infrastructure. He expressed that a
moratorium will not have much affect on the problem if it comes from your I&I problem.
Bob Mort, Creamery Road businessman, conveyed that he has a thriving business in town, now have the opportunity to make the town work, have always had those issues with water and sewer. "Have a limit of how much growth and fix your problem.
Don't shut down your bread and butter."
Randy Whittenberger for Southgate, commented on the negative impacts on property value a moratorium would impose.
Pat Boyle: For commercial development
John Clapp: Revision makes for only residential (excluding residential properties)
Pat Boyle: For moratorium, didn't know how close we were to getting these commercial projects, didn't know that. I like the revision recommendation (by Topper).
Art Elder: Not for that plan before, still likes the 25 per limit plan, would like for the Board to take another look at the first plan that does allow commercial.
Cliff Sweeney: Not for stopping commercial growth, didn't know either about all the commercial development being planned, need to slow down growth and get infrastructure fixed
Pat Boyle: Good, viable workable moratorium
Jim Hoover: My biggest concern is that we've had plans that had both but were not supported, some stopped that need any extension of service, commercial is not the thing to give up , you can't pick and choose for site-specific areas, the
Board has to decide what they want outside of site-specific interests. Not sure for leaving it open for all commercial. The original had allowed up to 5 per year. How much more are you going to allow? The main focus has to be the repair of the sewer system, we're losing time.
The offered amendment is a decent draft but how much is enough and how much is too much?.
Art Elder: If taking commercial out of the plan, will it be any good or not?
Mike Lucas: They're not the only impact that could affect the system, typical commercial development are the heaviest users, if limiting, what impact are you really having?
Dave Haller: You have to be careful, there should be an allowance for all classifications. Still believe there should be some allowance for commercial industry as well as residential.
Pat Boyle (to Dan Reaver): How many new businesses?
Dan Reaver: 3 & 1 nonprofit
John Clapp: There is difficulty in crafting such, giving rise to not addressing the sewer problem.
Art Elder: This (repair) might not cure it.
Jim Hoover: The main issue is too much I&I.
Cliff Sweeney: MDE might shut us down. "Are we going to have a growth plan or not?"
MOTION: To accept the first proposed plan of 25 houses per year.
The motion was made by Commissioner Elder.
Commissioner Boyle asked for a second. Being none, motion dies.
Pat Boyle: Go back and put something in there about commercial.
Jim Hoover: What do you want?
Joyce Rosensteel: 5
Art Elder: I'm not for that plan.
Pat Boyle: 5. Take from the original smart growth plan version, adopt it into a moratorium plan ordinance.
Dave Haller: The original had 5 that were hardship or special circumstance.
Jef Fitzgerald: Keep in mind that commercial taps are figured on fixture units not taps.
Mike Lucas: Don't know how all these contingencies would be crafted.
Southgate asked for clarification and number of fixtures.
Jim Hoover: Again, this is getting more specific on what you're allowing. This Board has to take that control.
John Clapp: Advise against it, difficulty in crafting an ordinance as you present it. From a legal standpoint, the idea of a moratorium is to "buy time" to resolve your sewer problems... it's becoming a growth issue, it should be we need time
to fix this problem.
Michael Lucas: I feel uncomfortable, with Mr. Topper's version to craft the town's legislature.
John Clapp: I have read Mr. Topper's change...The only thing it does is exclude commercial.
Michael Lucas: A blanket exemption is difficult to craft.
Jim Hoover: Agrees there, leaves it open.
Art Elder: If we're telling everybody to go ahead and build, whey even talk about it?
Pat Boyle: Without anything in there allowing some commercial, I can't vote like it is.
John Clapp: From a legal standpoint, where does the number of 5 come from in relation to the purpose of a delay for time to correct the infrastructure problem? What if the "5" included heavy industrial use?
Cliff Sweeney: Go ahead and draft and do at the workshop.
Michael Lucas: How do you want us to revise the commercial development site plan? Come up with a staff recommendation.
Dave Haller (to Cliff Sweeney): You might consider, some value in the Board asking them what are you limiting, perhaps abandoning altogether because it's not limiting anything anyway.
John Clapp: If the ordinance you're considering isn't going to resolve your environmental hazard, then I agree with Dave, why have it?.
Pat Boyle: Would like staff to come up with something for commercial
Michael Lucas: A blanket exemption?
Pat Boyle: Could you put in except for the 5, to come before the Board for approval.
Jim Hoover: It shouldn't be to come before the Board, it's getting site-specific, to fit a particular person, it needs to be defined in the town's best interest, not on a case-by-case basis.
MOTION: To table the moratorium ordinance until the Workshop on February 18, 2004.
The Mayor asked of the Board, "Do you want anything done on the residential portion?"
All agreed, "No".
VOTE: 3-1 in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Elder opposed.
Frederick County Commissioner Cady addressed the Board and audience stating his plan for visiting town meetings on behalf of Frederick County. He outlined additional developments on the World weightlifting event to be held at Mt. St. Mary's.
He entertained any questions to county business.