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Vote would favor development

April 17, 2002|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

dank@herald-mail.com

A majority of Hagerstown City Council members said Tuesday they will vote to approve construction of a 706-unit residential development for property behind the Centre at Hagerstown.

The council probably will vote on the development proposal around the end of May or in June, Mayor William M. Breichner said.

During a Tuesday meeting, three of the five council members - Lewis C. Metzner, N. Linn Hendershot and Carol N. Moller - said they support the proposed development and would like it to proceed.

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Council members Kristin B. Aleshire and Penny May Nigh said they oppose the development.

"I don't agree with the apartments," Aleshire said.

The proposed development would include 203 single-family homes, 261 townhouses and 242 units in four-unit apartment buildings called quadplexes, city Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Everhart said.

The development would be built on about 164 acres behind the shopping center, which is near the point where U.S. 40 crosses over Interstate 81.

The project by The Rachuba Group, which is based in Eldersburg, Md., has been named Hager's Crossing.

The council has authority over the project because The Rachuba Group needs a special zoning designation to develop the property as proposed. The special zoning designation, called a Planned Unit Development, or PUD, would allow the development to have single-family homes, townhouses and quadplexes, Everhart has said.

Aleshire has said council members should take their time reviewing the proposed development, which he said would be the largest ever undertaken within the city.

He said council members should consider what effect such a large development, especially the number of proposed apartments, would have on the city.

Most council members have said they would rather have fewer apartments and more single-family homes in the development.

But Metzner questioned whether it would be fair to the developer for council members to choose this development "to start flexing our muscles on."

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