County briefs

May 15, 2002

Commissioners discuss Comprehensive Plan

The Washington County Board of Commissioners held further discussion Tuesday about the proposed draft of the Washington County Comprehensive Plan but made no decisions.

The commissioners must hold at least one public hearing before voting on the plan.

Discussions will continue at a later meeting, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

The commissioners are not ready to call for a public hearing yet, he said.

Most of the discussion Tuesday focused on recommended density reductions.

Commissioners have questioned the fairness of the plan's proposal as well as whether the public understands the proposed density changes would limit how many houses a property owner could have on land in preservation, environmental conservation and agricultural preservation zoning districts.

The density changes were suggested by the state, which has been encouraging counties to take greater control over development, Arch said.

Farms designated as preservation districts

The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday designated two farms as agriculture preservation districts.

That decision came after public hearings Tuesday to consider farm properties owned by Billy Clark and Anna Rowland. No one spoke at the hearings.

Clark's 75-acre beef-and-crop farm is at 14431 Mercersburg Road near the intersection with Faith Road, said Eric Seifarth, county farmland preservation administrator.

Rowland's 153-acre timber farm is at 14661 Indian Springs Road in Big Pool, about 21/2 miles northwest of Clear Spring, Seifarth said.

The applicants volunteered to put their farms into 10-year agriculture preservation districts.

In exchange for agreeing not to develop their land for 10 years, Clark and Rowland will pay no county tax on the land or farm buildings, Seifarth said.

Contract awarded for replacement of bridge

The Washington County Board of Commissioners Tuesday awarded a $112,820 contract for the replacement of the Western Pike Bridge, also known as the Old Route 40 bridge.

The contract was awarded to Building Systems Inc. of Hagerstown, which had the lowest of four bids.

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