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Wal-Mart, Greenwich Park on agenda

March 27, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

Two proposed projects that have angered some local residents - a Wal-Mart Supercenter near Funkstown and a residential development along Mount Aetna Road - are on this week's Hagerstown Planning Commission agenda.

No action is planned on either proposal, City Planner Richard Kautz said Friday. There will be general discussion.

There will not be a public hearing on either proposal, so citizens probably won't be allowed to speak at the meeting, he said.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

Wal-Mart wants to build a 200,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter along Edgewood Drive between Twigg Cycles and Funkstown.

The Wal-Mart would anchor a 31.5-acre development that would include a 30,260-square-foot building for retail stores, two spaces for future commercial development, three storm water management ponds and 1,200 parking spaces, according to plans submitted to the city Planning Department.

The plan, which also includes a new road along the property, has to be approved by the Hagerstown Planning Commission before the developers can apply for a building permit.

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Some Funkstown residents have expressed opposition to the plan, saying it would worsen existing traffic problems in the area.

The Funkstown Mayor and Council and Funkstown Planning Commission sent a letter earlier this month to the Hagerstown Mayor and Council asking that new development be postponed until a Funkstown bypass is in place.

A traffic study paid for by the development company proposes widening parts of Edgewood Drive in front of the site to make room for turn lanes. The study also recommends installing a traffic signal on Edgewood Drive at one of two proposed entrances to the development.

City Engineer Bruce Johnston said Friday it is too early to say if any other road or intersection improvements may be required.

The Mount Aetna proposal is to turn 36.7 acres of farmland into a 195-unit residential development called Greenwich Park. Last year the property was the subject of a controversial rezoning and annexation into Hagerstown, drawing protesting neighbors to City Hall.

The property is surrounded by the Brightwood Acres, Londontowne and Fairway Meadows subdivisions.

The Churchey Group II, the development group that submitted the plan, plans to build 32 homes in the first phase of the project, said Jim Stone, a Hagerstown lawyer who is a partner in the group. He said it could take six to 10 years to finish construction.

Stone, who also is a member of the Planning Commission, said he would excuse himself from discussing or voting on the plan.

The development plan calls for 35 fewer housing units than were in the original plan and does not include commercial space. The houses built would be duplexes and single-family homes instead of the quads, triplexes and duplexes originally proposed.

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