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Letters to the Editor 9/28

September 27, 2000

Letters to the Editor 9/28



Quality of life in the balance



To the editor:

It would appear that the level of bureaucracy that exists in this community has not yet been informed of the process of supply and demand, nor of the necessary provisions with which to properly facilitate such matters. By utilizing such available information, conclusions pertaining to the necessity of a second Super Wal-Mart in Hagerstown can quickly be assessed.

One approach would be a comparison of the trends of past, present and future residential development with existing and expanding commercial growth. In this case, it would appear the trend of residential growth within this county has been moderate in increase, compared to new commercial development, which appears to be expanding throughout the region at an exponential rate.

Due to the rapid expansion of commercial growth within the region, general labor forces from the surrounding rural counties are finding it less of a necessity to seek employment in our county, since those same opportunities are available in their own growing urban centers.

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If we continue to promote and support this type of mediocre commercial sprawl, our own location will become decreasingly appealing to both our rural counterparts and potential educated workforce.

In order to establish a better understanding of our own direction, it may be beneficial to focus on our proximity to those neighboring counties, experiencing similar effects of growth. Instead of trying to compete with the identities of these areas, our political bodies should be attempting to enhance the character of the community it is meant to serve, as growth within these counties changes, affecting our own direction.

Those leaders willing to trade the potential of this community for such monotonous commercial development must be willing to accept responsibility for the inevitable degradation of the quality of life that our communities seek to establish. If we do not preserve, respect and promote the unique qualities of every municipality that surrounds the urban center of our own county, we will forfeit the ability to promote the necessary quality of life to potential residents in the future.

Kristin Aleshire

Hagerstown




Trail tramples property rights



To the editor:

The Appalachian Trail has been a landmark for a long time - in the same place here in Washington County. Now, however, there is a problem with the location of the trail. It seems that the county did not regulate it correctly and now the trail is too close to houses and "civilization."

In the 1960s it was designated that there be a 1,000-foot buffer for the trail. This could have been accomplished if the county had not issued building permits for new homes to be built close to it. The state and or Trail Association could also have been buying the older homes and property surrounding the existing trail. Unfortunately none of these easy solutions happened and now property-tax-paying, unwilling people are paying the price for the government's lack of foresight.

As a society we would like to think that the government is concerned with our opinions and suggestions. Unfortunately, that is not so. The trail is now going to be moved away from its original path by approximately one mile onto property that was purchased 15 to more than 100 years ago when the trail was fine in its present location. People have paid their property taxes and taken care of their property and now the government is coming in and taking the property away from these people to be used by occasional hikers, many of whom do not live in Washington County, or Maryland for that matter, and pay no taxes to the local entities.

Why not use the money that is designated to "rob people of their land" to put up barriers where the trail already exists, or to buy property along the existing trail as people decide to sell it? Why should people who love their land and have worked hard all their lives taking care of their land now have to give it up to the government, or have the trail next to people who never planned on having the trail near them? The people who own property along the existing trail made their decision to live by the trail when they bought their property - the people who chose to buy properties away from the trail should not now have the trail forced upon them.

If this has to be done then it should be done in the most unobtrusive manner as possible, however, this is not the case either. Instead of taking small amounts of land or taking it on the edge of properties the government is taking large amounts of land right in the middle of people's property.

Just think about it; you can get permits for your land, pay taxes on it, take care of it and then the government can come in and take it away from you or take your peace of mind away from you for a foot path that is fine in its existing location. That is your tax dollars hard at work. Would you want this to happen to your land?

Danny Yonker

Smithsburg




Gore will be a strong leader



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