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Concerns over rezoning proposal aired at City Council meeting

September 25, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

By a narrow 3-2 vote Tuesday, the Hagerstown City Council approved a request by the W House of Hagerstown Foundation Inc. for a $350,000 loan from the city for Community Development Block Grant funds.

The money will be used to move into its new building at 519 N. Locust St.

W House, a substance abuse program for women, purchased the 11,000-square-foot Locust Street property to replace its present 2,500-square-foot home on Antietam Street.

Councilwoman Penny May Nigh and Councilman Kristin Aleshire voted against the loan request.

The W House said it wanted its women to move into an area that is drug-free and alcohol-free and that is not the case in the area where it is moving, Nigh said.

Aleshire said he does not think parking problems that may be caused by the move have been properly addressed.

The council was scheduled to vote on the loan at a meeting last month but that decision was delayed until the Hagerstown Board of Zoning Appeals could hear two variance requests.

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At a Sept. 18 meeting, the board gave W House permission to reduce the number of off-street parking spaces at the site from 10 to six in order to create a courtyard. W House Executive Director Christina Trenton told the board the group plans to turn a driveway into three parking spaces.

However, the zoning appeals board rejected a request for permission to erect a fence for the courtyard in front of the front building setback.

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