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Rezoning proposal irks residents

September 25, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Some East Avenue residents are opposed to a proposal to rezone a building on their street to house offices because of parking problems.

The street is too small to handle parking for residents now, said James Gruber, of 17 East Ave.

Brendan D. Fitzsimmons, of Groh Realty Co., said garages near the 26-32 East Ave. building could be torn down to provide between 30 and 40 more parking spaces.

The building is owned by Trusts A&B, of which brothers Vincent and Charles Groh are trustees.

Council members Al Boyer and Wally McClure said parking would probably be a bigger problem if the building becomes residential apartments.

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The building is zoned R-2, which allows for residential buildings. The owners want it rezoned to R-4, which also allows for office space.

The building has been vacant for about two years since Freeline Books Inc. moved out, planning officials said.

Gruber said it would be better if the property owners razed the building and made the land a parking lot.

Planning Commission members recommended the council approve the rezoning because of a mistake in the original zoning, officials said.

Council members are expected to discuss the rezoning proposal during an October work session before voting on the matter at their Oct. 28 regular meeting, said Matt Davis, a city planner.

If the Council approves the rezoning, it would take effect 30 days later, Davis said.

The record will be held open until the end of Oct. 7 for written testimony or other relevant information, he said. Testimony should be addressed to the Zoning Administrator, City Hall, 1 E. Franklin St., Hagerstown, Md., 21740.

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