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City to discuss Wal-Mart appeal with attorney

January 24, 2001

City to discuss Wal-Mart appeal with attorney



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Hagerstown's Mayor and City Council are expected to meet with a city attorney next week to discuss matters related to the appeal of the city Planning Commission's denial of plans for a new Wal-Mart Supercenter.

It was not clear Tuesday what specific points will be discussed, but a majority of council members said they will stand behind the Planning Commission's actions.

"It's more a matter of procedure than anything substantive," said John Urner, the city attorney who requested the meeting with the Mayor and council.

"This is not to discuss the mayor and council stopping any action. ... We have to talk about what procedures to follow," Urner said Tuesday.

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Urner said he was not prepared to discuss specifics.

Councilmen Alfred W. Boyer, Lewis C. Metzner and William M. Breichner said they didn't know exactly what Urner will be discussing with them. All three said they support the Planning Commission's actions. Boyer is also a member of the commission and voted to deny approval of the plans for a new Wal-Mart.

Urner is expected to meet with the mayor and council at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said the meeting will be open to the public.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said there will be no time given for public comments during that meeting.

On Dec. 13 the Hagerstown Planning Commission voted to deny approval of plans to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter and another building on 31.5 acres along Edgewood Drive near Funkstown.

Commission members cited improper zoning as a primary factor in their decision. Some said Funkstown traffic concerns also influenced their vote.

Some Funkstown residents have opposed the project, saying it would dramatically and dangerously increase traffic through town.

Earlier this month the company proposing the development, Wyatt Development Co., which is based in Aiken, S.C., appealed the commission's decision to the Washington County Circuit Court.

Urner said no court date has been set for the appeal.

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