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Hagerstown City Council opposes proposed development

March 06, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

A plan to build apartment buildings and townhouses on a parking lot next to Hagerstown's Pangborn Park is opposed by all five City Council members, who would ultimately decide whether to approve the proposed development.

The council has authority over the plan because the developers are seeking a special zoning designation, called a Planned Unit Development (PUD), for the project.

Plans from the developers, Pangborn Park Limited Partnership, reviewed last week by the City Planning Commission, 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 along Pangborn Boulevard and between Security Road and the park.

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

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"I don't think there's three votes here to approve the PUD for Pangborn," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday, referring to the votes needed for council approval of the plan.

Metzner said the developers and city staff are spending a lot of time on a project he thinks will not be approved, and maybe the process for approving PUDs should be changed. He said he didn't know what the solution is.

The other four council members also said Tuesday that they oppose the current development plan.

Without approval of the PUD plan, 56 residential units in duplexes could be built on the property, City Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Everhart said.

The plan reviewed Feb. 27 by the City Planning Commission showed a total of 88 residential units in townhouses and apartment buildings on the property.

But the commission asked the developers to replace two six-unit apartment buildings with townhouses and make the rest of the proposed apartment buildings two stories instead of three. These changes would reduce the total number of residential units on the property to 65.

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

If the proposed development does go to the council, there would be a public hearing on the plan before the council votes on it.

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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