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Allegheny Energy discusses zoning change with planning panel

September 24, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Allegheny Energy officials asked the Washington County Planning Commission during a public hearing Monday to create a new zoning designation and rezone the 452-acre Friendship Technology Park property south of Interstate 70 along Downsville Pike to the new classification.

Currently, 244 of the acres at the site are zoned planned industrial and 208 acres are zoned agricultural, county documents said. The 452 acres include Allegheny Energy corporate headquarters.

Allegheny Energy is calling for creation of an Office, Research and Technology District.

The hearing was held jointly by the planning commission and the Washington County Commissioners.

Despite its attempts, Allegheny Energy has not drawn other businesses to the technology park, which opened in 1988.

While the company could develop the park with the current zoning, it could do better with the proposed new designation since the new district would be designed for companies from the research and technology sectors, a spokeswoman has said.

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If Washington County wants to draw research and development and technology companies, then it should approve the changes, said William Young Jr., counsel for the utility company.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, Hagerstown/Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF, and Callas Contractors support Allegheny Energy's request, Young said.

During the hearing, Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger and Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook expressed concern about the proposed zoning designation allowing buildings of up to 150 feet.

Commissioner William Wivell excused himself from the hearing because he works for Allegheny Energy.

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