Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


New development proposed

Danielle Ryan

(12/23) At the December 8 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Committee members discussed a proposal regarding cluster development in agricultural zoning districts. The new development would consist of cluster housing, which simply means homes built on smaller lots, with more open space.

David Lingg, of Mechanicstown LLC, brought the proposal to the Committee in hopes of a potential amendment, as the Board of Commissioners had voted against rezoning the property in question three separate times in the past. The amendment to the town zoning ordinance would allow cluster development on agricultural zoned property. This would mean lots would be smaller, under 30,000 square feet, but there would be no increase in the number of houses planned for a development. This square footage is smaller than most single family homes in Thurmont, but a cluster development would allow for more open area.

The property in question by Lingg is a 23.5 acre piece of land that can currently be divided into 30 lots. Neighbors of this property are opposed to how the development would affect the aesthetics of the area near Eyler Park. However, as Lingg proposed, a cluster development would allow a buffer of open space to be worked into the design, hopefully eliminating the butting of homes immediately adjacent to the park.

Town Planner Chris Jakubiak mentioned that cluster developments would allow for more efficient developments and more open space. It doesn’t change the use of the land; it merely alters how the land would be divided. It also allows for more creative design for environmentally sensitive areas, such as areas that tend to retain water. These areas could be avoided more easily with cluster developments and consequently that space could be utilized as open space.

Mayor Kinnaird spoke to recommend that residents near this location be notified of the potential change, so they have the time and ability to voice their concerns and opinions to the Board. Community response and feedback is necessary in a scenario like this, to ensure that the residents "affected" be treated fairly.

Jakubiak will draft an amendment for the Board pf Commissioners to review at a future meeting. The amendment will be taken to public workshops for comment by the community and will need to be approved by the Board before it can go into effect.

Read other news stories related to Thurmont