Decision expected tonight on Artz farm

June 23, 1997

The Washington County Commissioners are expected to take action tonight on a request to rezone the Artz Farm on Rench Road for major development.

The 7 p.m. meeting will include public participation at 7:05 p.m. A decision on the rezoning of the farm between the Sharpsburg Pike and Downsville Pike is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

The Artz family wants to rezone the agricultural land to 276.8 acres of Highway Interchange 1, 100 acres of Industrial Restricted, 64 acres of Highway Interchange 2 and 170.7 acres of Rural Residential.

Despite opposition from local residents, the Planning Commission has recommended approval of the rezoning, with the exception of the 100 acres to be rezoned Industrial Restricted.


Planning Commission Chairman Bert Iseminger has said the commission wanted to send a message that commercial development should be kept north of Rench Road.

The rezoning, if granted, probably would be the largest in Washington County history, said Planning Director Robert Arch.

The land is about the same size as Fort Ritchie.

According to a report by Senior Planner Stephen T. Goodrich, if the site is rezoned and fully developed, as many as 987 semi-detached single family housing units and 1,024 apartments could be constructed on the 234.7 acres zoned Rural Residential and Highway Interchange 2.

Goodrich said he didn't take into account space that might be needed for roads or otherwise restricted by regulations.

- Steven T. Dennis

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