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Council to turn down building proposal near Pangborn Park

May 15, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

dank@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday agreed to turn down a proposal to build apartment buildings and townhouses next to the city's Pangborn Park.

The council is scheduled to formally vote on the proposed development on May 28.

Developers Richard McCleary and David Lyles are proposing building 28 townhouses and a total of 48 apartments in three apartment buildings on 6.5 acres next to the park. The property, now an overgrown parking lot, is along Pangborn Boulevard between the park and Security Road.

Under the proposed development, the city would receive about 1.5 acres next to the park that could be used as a public parking lot.

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The council has the authority to approve or deny the proposal because the developers need a special zoning designation called a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to build apartments and townhouses there.

Without council approval of the PUD, construction would be limited by the current residential zoning designation on the property.

City Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Everhart has said the current residential zoning on the property would allow a maximum of 40 residential units in duplexes and one single-family house on the property.

But McCleary has said 58 residential units in duplexes could be built on the property. McCleary also has said that if duplexes are built on the property, no land would be given to the city.

During the Tuesday City Council meeting, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he will vote against the proposed development because the majority of the park neighbors he's heard from oppose the plan for apartments and townhouses.

Council members Kristin B. Aleshire, Carol N. Moller and Penny May Nigh also said they oppose the proposed PUD.

During public hearings on the proposed development, park neighbors have complained about the expected increase in traffic such a development would bring, and that apartment buildings would bring too many residential units to the area.

Councilman N. Linn Hendershot said he will vote for the proposed development. He said the park needs the space for a parking lot.

Mayor William M. Breichner also said the advantage of the proposed PUD is that the city would get land for a parking lot.

Metzner said the council may want to buy some property near the park for a parking lot.

Lyles is a member of the city Planning Commission, which recommended the council approve the proposed development.

Lyles did not participate in commission discussion of the proposed development.

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