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Town Comprehensive Plan update.

Teresa Grable

(4/23) After six years, the Planning Commission began rolling out the details to update the Emmitsburg Comprehensive Plan. As a guide, it allows the town to express basic goals, make day-to-day development decisions on the basis of reasoned and adopted policies, rather than on the individual merits of proposals. This provides the basis for making changes to zoning, subdivision, and other regulations that govern land use and infrastructure development of the community.

Town Planner Susan Cipperly believes that being situated on the border with Pennsylvania, Emmitsburg has a unique opportunity to interact with any joint planning, environmental, recreational, tourism, and economic development efforts undertaken by Frederick and Adams County entities, as well as the National Park Service activities. There have been some efforts in the past, and Emmitsburg should participate in and encourage these regional and interstate opportunities, as they would be of benefit to the local community as well as the region as a whole. "Many of the goals of the 2009 plan have been accomplished or are underway. This will be a good way to document the progress," said Cipperly.

As the town cannot designate more land use than systems can support, water and sewer capacity are being calculated and need to be incorporated into the land use plan. Further, "The update is not a complete reworking of the plan or a complicated review. The formatting has been changed to reflect the Twelve Visions. Each vision will have a section, plus some additional sections that are needed," stated Cipperly.

Once the Planning Commission deems a satisfactory draft is complete it will be sent to the MD Dept. of Planning. They will have sixty days to send it to other agencies and provide comments back to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will then hold a public hearing.

Any changes from the public hearing will be made and the completed plan will be sent to the Board of Commissioners. They will then review it and decide to adopt it or send it back to the Planning Commission for revisions.

The comprehensive plan can consider requests for changes in land use and zoning. To date, the town staff has received two notices of interest in seeking zoning revisions for properties.

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