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Clear Spring residents air concerns over tavern expansion

January 22, 2002

Clear Spring residents air concerns over tavern expansion



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - Complaints about overflow parking, possible traffic hazards and loud patrons were heard Monday evening at a public hearing to determine if the Silver Belle tavern would be allowed to expand into an adjacent home.

Eight people attended the hearing including Carolyn Staley, licensee/owner of the tavern at 236 Cumberland St., and Melvin Staley, owner of the house next door at 238 Cumberland St.

"We want to put in a few more tables and a handicapped bathroom," Carolyn Staley said.

Several town residents said parking is already a problem as are traffic hazards when the tavern closes at night.

"This expansion would mean more cars, bigger crowds and more noise," Dave Irvin Sr said. "I'm also concerned because the owners don't live in this town."

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A resident of 132 E. Antietam St. in Hagerstown, Carolyn Staley said she plans to move to Clear Spring in a few years.

Melvin Staley's address is 422 Salem Ave., Hagerstown, according to town records.

James Miller, chief of operations at Clear Spring Ambulance Co., said parking at the tavern, which is just across U.S. 40, is a problem for ambulance personnel.

"They park in our lot and our members have to park along the road when they come to respond on emergency calls," Miller said. "We are opposed to the expansion for that reason."

David Irvin Jr., who said he lives to the rear of the tavern, said speeding by tavern patrons has him concerned about the safety of children playing in the neighborhood.

Melvin Staley said patrons would still enter and leave the tavern from the front and rear doors as they do now.

"We are just trying to bring more people to the town to have a good time," Melvin Staley said.

Referring to the drawings supplied to the town, Grove asked Melvin Staley if the tavern's pool table had already been moved into the house as shown in the drawings.

"When did you do that?" Grove asked.

Melvin Staley said he moved the pool table into the house months ago.

"I didn't know I needed permission for that," he said.

Grove said he did.

The town zoning appeals board is made up of Mayor Paul Hose Jr., and Councilmen Gary Grove and Mason Mundey, all of whom were in attendance at Monday's public hearing.

The board has 10 days to make a decision on the request for the exception to the town residential zoning district.

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