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Planners delay decision on Pangborn development

March 01, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hoping the developers behind a plan to build townhouses and apartments near Pangborn Park will scale back their plans again, the Hagerstown Planning Commission on Wednesday delayed taking a position on the plan until March 13.

The commission is charged with recommending that the City Council approve or reject the plan.

The commission agreed to ask the developers to replace two six-unit apartment buildings closest to the park with townhouses, and to make the rest of the proposed apartment buildings two stories instead of three.

The plans from Pangborn Park Limited Partnership reviewed by the commission on Wednesday showed 28 townhouses along Security Road and Pangborn Boulevard, plus another 60 units in 10, three-story apartment buildings behind the townhouses. The residences would be built on 6.5 acres, currently an overgrown parking lot, that is along Pangborn Boulevard and between Security Road and the park.

The changes requested by the planning commission would reduce the total number of residential units planned for the property by 23, City Planning Director Richard Kautz said.

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Fred Papa, engineer for the property owners, could not say whether the owners will go along with the commission's requests. But he said the owners have already "gone overboard" in addressing commission concerns.

The property is owned by a partnership headed by Richard McCleary and Planning Commission member David Lyles, Papa said. Lyles has not attended commission discussions of the project.

In December the commission asked that the project, which initially was planned to be 96 residential units, instead have 64.

The plans reviewed Wednesday showed a total of 88 residential units would be built.

The commission also asked in December that the developers give to the city land next to the park for a public parking lot, and set aside space for a walkway to the park for residents of the development - both of which are reflected in the latest plans.

The planning commission can negotiate with the developers in this case because the developers are seeking a special zoning designation for the project. Without the special designation, construction on the property would be limited to about 48 residential units, Kautz said.

The commission voted 4-0 Wednesday to postpone its decision on whether to recommend the City Council approve the proposed development.

Commission members absent from the meeting were Fred Nugent, Lyles and Carol N. Moller, who is also a City Council member.

Any plan would have to be approved by the council, which would hold a public hearing on the proposal before a final vote on the matter.

Councilwoman Penny May Nigh, who attended the Wednesday meeting, said she opposes any development on that property.

Some park neighbors have voiced strong opposition to the proposed development, saying it would worsen traffic conditions and lower their property values.

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