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Commercial development is proposed

June 05, 2004|By TARA REILLY

WILLIAMSPORT

A Howard County, Md., developer has proposed building a hotel, four commercial retail shops and a mini-warehouse off Md. 68 near Williamsport.

But Washington County senior planner Tim Lung said Friday that the types of businesses may change as the proposal develops.

Sovereign Assets LLC pitched the preliminary plan to the county's Planning and Community Development Department last month.

"What (Sovereign Assets) was presenting was just a possible plan," Lung said.

A planning document states the four proposed retail sites could be restaurants or office buildings. A public street would be built to serve the development.

The businesses are proposed for nine acres off Md. 68, north of Md. 63 and Governor Lane Boulevard. The property is in the Urban Growth Area, which is an area where growth is encouraged.

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According to the planning document, the land is owned by the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation (CHIEF).

According to the planning document, Sovereign Assets is interested in purchasing the property.

Lung said he didn't think the developer has bought the land yet.

CHIEF President Richard Phoebus said Sovereign Assets has an option to buy contract on the property, but the land still is owned by CHIEF.

The land is zoned Highway Interchange-1, which allows for businesses such as fast-food places, hotels and convenience stores, Phoebus said.

Sovereign Assets representatives did not return a phone call Friday.

Road improvements and water and sewer upgrades may be required if the development is approved, the planning document states.

The site is near the area where Donald Bowman had proposed building a truck stop, which was at Md. 63 and Md. 68 near the Interstate 81 overpass.

The Washington County Planning Commission will discuss the preliminary plan at its regular monthly meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at 80 W. Baltimore St., Hagerstown.

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