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letters 10/11

October 11, 2002

Issue is not development, but good development



To the editor:


In a recent letter to the editor the consultant for the developer proposing the lanned Unit Development for the Black Rock area completely missed the point of the neighbors protest as voiced by Del. Chris Shank.

I have spoken with a great number of the residents of the area, and I have yet to hear any of them object to development. Most of them moved to the area and are looking forward to more new neighbors.

They do not object to development, they object to bad development.

Creating a community of 600 homes with only one exit onto an already overloaded and dangerous county road is not good development. Do the math. That works out to thousands of additional car trips on Mt. Aetna Road per day.

Taking advantage of the PUD regulations to crowd two or three times as many houses onto a tract of farmland by counting high-tension power line easements, storm water management facilities and rock areas that are too steep to build on as open space is not good development.

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Locating large condominium, townhouse, and duplex communities out in the middle of farmland without any commercial facilities and inadequate access is not good development.

Just building a lot of houses without any consideration to the schools, roads, and other support services that will need to be built by the county is not good development.

According to the county's own study, the property taxes generated by these houses will never cover the expense of building the needed new facilities.

There is more to good development then building houses.

This project will be one of the largest projects in Washington County history. As such, it will set the standard for future projects. If the commissioners approve this development it will never get any better. They need to demand better.

Kurt Cushwa

Hagerstown




City provides college with plenty



To the editor:


In response to Larry Sharpe's letter that the City of Hagerstown provides nothing to HCC, I offer the following:

Of the reported 1,915 students enrolled with a 21740 zip code, only 65 percent, or 1,282 live within the city. Therefore, the city taxpaying residents provide the "community" college with 31 percent of the total 4,123 students enrolled, which equates to approximately $1.38 million in course revenue alone, not to mention any books, clubs, sports or other activities and general expenses.

The city partners with the community college in providing various educational programs such as public safety courses, local broadcast systems and new mapping technology resources. The city also provides public water and sewer, which would be reduced in cost if the community college were within the corporate limits.

The city does not provide public funds for the scholarship program, and even if it would it could not determine that those funds would directly reach city students. However, I personally donated $2,000 of my city council salary as scholarship money directly to students who reside within the city, which I will continue to provide annually for the remainder of my term. Therefore, it is incorrect to assert that the city provides no scholarship money to the community college.

The mentality reflected in your letter is all too familiar to the city, where local media have conditioned the public to associate any potentially negative part of an issue with "Hagerstown," overshadowing the momentum we continue to attempt to achieve in our community.

However, I would hope that you taught philosophy and would re-evaluate your thought process in this matter. If it were any other field your lesson was poorly presented at best.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire

Hagerstown

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