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990-unit housing development proposed near Black Rock

January 08, 2002

990-unit housing development proposed near Black Rock



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


Property owner Manny Shaool wants to build 990 housing units on 221 acres off Mount Aetna Road across from the Black Rock Golf Course.

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The as yet unnamed housing development would have 217 single-family homes, 70 semi-detached two-family homes, 223 townhouses and 480 condominium units, according to county documents. Those numbers could change during the planning process.

Some of the homes would be in a gated area, Shaool's son, Sassan, said Monday.

Manny Shaool and his family also own the nearby Black Rock Estates, Foxshire Plaza and Manny's Oriental Rugs in downtown Hagerstown.

The Shaools are developing other properties, including Springfield Farms and the 525-unit Rosewood Village off Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown, adjacent to Hagerstown Community College, under the name of Washco Developments Inc. Sassan Shaool is president of the development company.

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The 990-unit project is in the county's urban growth area, which is a government-identified area in which development is encouraged.

The land is zoned agricultural but the Shaools are asking for a Planned Urban Development (PUD) zoning designation. A PUD is a special zoning designation that typically allows higher-density development on a property than would be allowed under the property's existing zoning.

The PUD request is scheduled to be on the March agenda for a joint hearing of the Washington County Planning Commission and the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Planning Director Robert Arch said.

Access to the planned development would be off Mount Aetna Road.

The county's Engineering Department is asking that Shaool have a traffic study conducted for nearby roads, including Dual Highway at Mount Aetna Road, Edgewood and Md. 66.

The county requires traffic studies of many proposed developments but especially ones of this size, County Engineer Terry McGee said.

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