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Hagerstown City Council to view Pangborn Park

May 28, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

A majority of the Hagerstown City Council is expected to meet at Pangborn Park at 10 a.m. today in response to a request by Councilman N. Linn Hendershot.

Hendershot is concerned that a vote scheduled for Tuesday on a development could threaten the park's future by taking away parking spaces.

Hendershot is asking the City Council and the Hagerstown Board of Parks and Recreation to join him in the park at 530 Pangborn Blvd. Six of the seven board members have told him they will attend, he said.

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Councilwoman Carol N. Moller, Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire and Mayor William M. Breichner said they plan to attend.

It will be not an official meeting of either body.

Hendershot said he wants the board, of which he is a member, to look for parking places around the park other than on the adjacent lot which could be built upon.

If the board can't find adequate alternate parking, Hendershot said he wants the board to recommend the council delay for one month Tuesday's scheduled decision on the proposed development.

At the May 21 council meeting, Hendershot was the lone councilmember to vote in favor of developers Richard McCleary and David Lyles' proposal to build 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.

Hendershot said the park needs the 1.5 acres next to it that would be given to the city under the developers' proposal. The property could be used as a public parking lot.

If the council rejects the proposal, the city won't get the land and the only available public parking will be along the road, which he does not think is sufficient. The city estimates there is enough parking along Pangborn Boulevard for 80 cars. Some of those spaces would be quite a distance from the park, he said.

If the parking lot no longer was available, "that would be a big problem," City Department of Recreation Manager Douglas Stull said Thursday.

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

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

McCleary has said that without the PUD he will build duplexes on the property and not give any land to the city.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner has 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.

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

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

"I feel that if people want to use the park they will find a place to park," Nigh said. Besides, she said, most people who use the park live within the area.

Moller said she had to choose between the people who live in the neighborhood and their concerns and the park itself and she decided the residents' concerns were more important.

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