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Retail project worries neighbors

March 10, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

Retail project worries neighbors

Residents who live near a proposed 85-acre development south of Valley Mall said Monday they're worried the project will make flooding and sewer problems in the area worse.

A half dozen residents spoke against the proposed retail development bordering Interstate 81 and Hickory Elementary School at a public hearing Monday night before the Washington County Planning Commission and County Commissioners.

Garrett & Smith Inc., a development company from Cabin John, Md., wants to develop the land it owns into a large retail area similar to what's on Wesel Boulevard.

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But 33.6 acres needs to be rezoned from Residential Multi-family to Business General, an intense commercial zone, before it can be developed.

"I would like to suggest that you hold still and do some studies in the area. Before more blacktop is laid, I think this situation should be looked at. It's a bad situation there," said Robert Souders, who lives on Hickory School Road.

Souders said he is one of several residents who have sewage in their basements because the pipes are inadequate to keep up.

Using maps of the area as guides, several pointed out flooding problems that already exist from development, and others spoke up against the increase in traffic that will likely come from retail development.

"I don't need any more traffic on Virginia Avenue. It already takes me 10 minutes to get out of my driveway," said Donald Mason.

Part of the development plan includes swapping 2.7 acres at Hickory Elementary School for 2.7 acres that could be used for expansion or a buffer zone for the school.

Commissioners and the planning commission will accept written comments in reference to the proposed rezoning of the area for 10 days. Comments can be mailed to 100 West Washington St., Hagerstown 21741.

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