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Smithsburg expected to see less than half of estimated growth

January 06, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG, Md. — A Smithsburg growth plan had estimated that the town could see 85 new living units a year being built, but due to the struggling economy, it is expected to see less than half of that.

That was the conclusion outlined in an updated comprehensive plan Tuesday night by town planner Jill Baker during a Smithsburg Town Council meeting.

Under the updated plan, Smithsburg is only expected to see construction of 17 to 32 living units a year, according to Baker.

The comprehensive plan also looks at the town’s sewer capacity, which will be an issue until the Washington County sewer plant for Smithsburg can be updated, Baker said.

The town sewer plant’s capacity has only 41 “EDUs,” or equivalent dwelling units, left, Baker said.

Each house uses one EDU, Mayor Mildred “Mickey” Myers said.

Baker said the town will have to be careful not to exceed that capacity if developers propose any projects.

She outlined the comprehensive plan prior to a public hearing on the document.

One of the owners of Cloverly Hill, LLC., which owns 62 acres next to the town of Smithsburg at the intersection of Md. 77 and Md. 64, said during the hearing that he supported the plan.

Daniel C. Cross said land at the intersection would be good for “cluster development.”

Cross said he intends to request annexation of his company’s property into the town. He plans to pursue residential and commercial development on the tract, but it was too early to offer any details, he said.

An updated comprehensive plan was drafted as part of the town’s requirement to have a “water resource element” and a “municipal growth element.”

The requirements are part of state efforts to have towns better plan for annexation, and water and sewage treatment needs.

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