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Panel OKs Lowe's plan

July 10, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Planning Commission on Wednesday conditionally approved a $16 million plan to relocate the Burhans Boulevard-based Lowe's Distribution Center to a 52-acre plot off Wesel Boulevard.

Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Everhart said the commission's 6-0 vote is contingent upon the approval from city departments such as water, sewer, light and engineering, which still have some minor questions about the plans.

Planning Commission Chairman Douglas Wright was absent.

Everhart said Lowe's already has applied for a building permit.

The 160,000-square-foot building will be on a 52-acre plot, which will be set back from Wesel Boulevard.

The new center will be about 1,000 feet south of Wesel's intersection with Burhans Boulevard, just before the Noland Company building. Everhart said the site will be close to the CSX railroad, which Lowe's plans to use for unloading.

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A line of trees more than 40 feet deep will be planted along the stretch of Wesel Boulevard where the building is located to create a buffer for the site, she said.

She said Lowe's will take from the site, which is mostly forest now, some trees and plant others but plans to contribute $78,600 to the city's forest conservation fund.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said the facility, which is open all hours, gets heavy traffic between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Everhart said the new facility is not expected to make a significant difference in traffic along Wesel.

As part of the plan, Lowe's is required to build a deceleration lane into the site, an acceleration lane out of the site and a left turn lane into the site on Wesel Boulevard headed north, Tissue said.

Everhart said she doesn't know why Lowe's, which leases its building on Burhans Boulevard, wants to own and build a building off Wesel Boulevard.

She said the relocation will create about 15 additional jobs. The distribution center currently employs 55, she said.

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