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Emmitsburg's Comprehensive Plan approved

Sarah Harrington

(12/2) Emmitsburg approved the town’s new comprehensive plan at the November 16 town meeting. The plan covers Emmitsburg’s goals for the future and the success the town has already had in economic development, sustainable efforts, connectivity, and infrastructure improvements.

The new plan is the first revision of the plan since 2009. The final revised version of the plan includes a description of actions taken to achieve the goals that were set in the original 2009 plan, and the addition of new goals to be achieved in the next 20 to 25 years.

The focus of new goals is on the broader aspects of the town. These include land use, water resources, transportation, community facilities and services, sensitive environmental areas, infrastructure capability, municipal revitalization and growth, fiscal health, and quality of life.

One of the key goals of the new version of the plan involves re-zoning in a residential area of town. The goal of the re-zoning is to change four residential properties in the East Main Street area of Emmitsburg from R-1 Residential Properties to B-1 Neighborhood Commercial properties. This change would allow the residents of said properties to open small businesses within property lines.

The plan also identifies three projects to enhance existing pedestrian routes. These projects consist of the replacement of the Flat Run Bridge on East Main Street, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016; the Square reconstruction, scheduled to begin in the spring of 2017; and, the repair/replacement of the sidewalks on Main Street, scheduled to begin the spring of 2016.

In the comprehensive plan, the relationship between local and regional factors that affect the local economic and community development is discussed. The new plan fuses efforts adopted by the region to improve resources and apply those ideas to the goals for the town. For example, the town’s plan now incorporates elements of the Frederick County’s Scenic byway plan for U.S. 15. The Catoctin Mountain National Scenic Byway Corridor allows municipalities and the county to apply for grants to maintain and promote U.S. 15 corridor. Frederick County adopted this plan back in 2004.

The document can be used by the town as a resource when applying for grants and other beneficial efforts for the town. The plan is designed to be used as a basis for the town when it comes to changes in zoning as well as other regulations that impact land use and infrastructure changes.

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