As Hagerstown continues to grow and encourage the development of business in and around the community, it is important to manage this growth in such a way that Hagerstown maintains its small town character and quality of life. Growth management prevents development that is disconnected from the rest of the community, which would put an additional burden on infrastructure and on area farmers.
Goals and Action Plans
- Adopt a local right-to-farm ordinance and update the zoning ordinance to establish agriculture as a legitimate land use
- Right-to-farm acts ensure that farmers are protected against nuisance lawsuits when non-agricultural uses extend into agricultural areas. This has been known to occur in Indiana when people from urban areas move into new developments on the rural fringe and subsequently sue farmers for the “nuisance” of agricultural noises and odors. Right-to-farm acts limit farmers’ liability in these instances.
- Extend water and sewer service to those areas in which growth is desirable
- Growth generally occurs in areas where utility connections are available. This development pattern is commonly called sprawl, and is costly to the community financially as well as in terms of environmental quality and town character. Developing a service boundary sets a limit on the amount of growth and growth density.