The Hagerstown City Council should grant Lenox, Inc., an exemption to its annexation-for-utilities policy when it meets on May 6. To do otherwise would not only be unfair, but would put all local economic-development efforts at risk.
Put into effect by the council in September of 2002, the controversial policy requires those whose properties abut the city line to sign an agreement to annex their properties into the city if they want city water or sewer service.
The policy also requires that those whose properties don't abut the city line - but might at some future time - sign a pact saying, in effect, that when the city's boundaries expand to their front door, they'll agree to annexation.
Lenox, Inc., objects, with its spokesmen saying that Lenox agreed to build its new $28 million distribution center in May 2001, long before the council passed the new annexation policy.