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Planners re-create untaped hearing

May 31, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

There are re-enactments of Civil War battles and now Hagerstown Planning Commission meetings, too.

The Planning Commission Wednesday re-enacted part of an April 12 meeting on controversial plans to build a 194-unit residential development on 36.7 acres along Mount Aetna Road.

On April 12 the commission approved plans for constructing the first 32 units of the development and the overall development plan for the site, which is surrounded by the Brightwood Acres, Londontowne and Fairway Meadows subdivisions.

A tape recording of the April meeting was sought so the city could provide a transcript of the meeting to the courts, which are dealing with appeals of the commissions decisions on that day. It was then discovered that the tape recording system did not record the meeting.

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At the recommendation of the city attorneys, the commission recreated the meeting on Wednesday.

At the outset, Commission Chairman Douglas Wright Jr. said the purpose of the meeting was to "duplicate the April 12 meeting."

Wright said issues not raised in the April meeting would not be allowed in Wednesday's meeting. This drew objections from some attending the meeting, including Hagerstown lawyer William C. Wantz, who is representing 63 neighbors of the development in their court actions to try and stop the development.

During the April meeting nine people spoke, and they were all against the proposed development.

Wednesday, seven of those people spoke again, and reiterated their concerns that the development would increase traffic and flooding and overcrowd the schools. Some also said the development would hurt property values in the surrounding neighborhoods because the development would be made up of duplexes and two detached single-family homes whereas the surrounding neighborhoods are made up of detached single-family homes.

After the public testimony, the commission again voted to approve the plans for the development, which is named Greenwich Park.

Developer Wes Churchey said construction has already begun at the site, and he hopes to have the first units completed around the end of August or beginning of October.

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