Letters to the editor for 6/18

June 18, 2002

Election must be about development

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to urge the County Commissioners to enact an immediate moratorium on development in Washington County.

Since 1997, this county has added an average of 499 new homes per year with 2001 having the largest increase of 669 units. This year has seen an explosion of requests for new development (at least 2,982 requests so far). I went through my clipping file (from The Herald-Mail newspaper) and found the following: 57 units in Fountianview, 110 units north of Poffenberger Road, 76 units at Pangborn Park, 270 units off Marsh Pike, 990 units off Mt. Aetna Road, 706 units behind the Center at Hagerstown and 773 units at St. James.

This St. James development is especially destructive because it includes 250,000 gallons per day of groundwater (yes, that is two hundred and fifty thousand gallons every day, not a typographical error) for a golf course! Did the drought miss Washington County?


These developments total 2,982 new housing unit requests this year alone. (And it is only June!) I have read story after story of hundreds of citizens showing up at hearings to attempt to stop this excessive and destructive development.

The planning commission has too many bankers and developers on it to accurately reflect the will of the citizens of this county. The County Commissioners (who appoint the planning commission) need to enact an immediate moratorium on development until the comprehensive plan (and associated zoning ordinance) is complete. At this point the County Comissioners seem to be asleep at the wheel.

Fortunately, this is an election year. I recently encountered the reconstituted Citizens to Protect Washington County (CPWC) and joined their efforts to network all the different groups fighting destructive development in this county.

Please feel free to e-mail me ( and I will make sure you are notified of meetings and events. This election year it will be vitally important to vote for the candidate who will protect Washington County from excessive and destructive development.

Joe Lane


Softball keeps a person active

To the editor:

Being retired is great, and being able to enjoy people, and to be with people, is the best thing to do in retirement.

Peg and I enjoy singing together with our friend Perry Reese, and going to nursing homes, where many people are touched, which means so much to us.

Many will sing along on old songs they haven't sung for many years. If you have time on your hands, volunteer, as it will give you and the recipient many happy hours.

You can also play softball with the Senior Softball League in Washington County. It is a good league, and very enjoyable for anyone over 50. It's another way of having friendship with many people. It is better than just sitting around the house and it keeps you active.

After a total hip operation in January, I do want to let my surgeon know I am not running yet, just hitting the ball right now.

But it is nice being on a team and having that friendship with the guys.

If you're over 50 and would like to play softball, come on out. We play at the City Park diamond Mondays and Thursdays. And at Fairgrounds Park on Wednesdays.

Ellis Duffey


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