Hagerstown Planning Commission

June 10, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Mixed development proposal discussed

Developers should be able to construct buildings in Hagerstown that hold both a restaurant and apartments, said Sassan Emral Shaool, a member of a local family of developers.

"That's what cities are," Shaool said at a Hagerstown Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.

Under current regulations, that type of construction isn't allowed. Commercial and residential uses can only be mixed in existing buildings, Shaool said.

A new regulation under review could change that.

The Planning Commission heard brief testimony on the proposed change at its Wednesday meeting. The commission will make a recommendation to the City Council.

Shaool and his father, Mansoor "Manny" Emral Shaool, said they were pleased to see the proposal.

Sassan Shaool said the amendment will help change the look of the town and attract younger and upper-class people.

No one spoke against the proposal.

The amendment would allow the mixed-use structures in some residential and commercial districts throughout the city. The structures must contain some commercial use - such as offices or restaurants - and some amount or residential use - such as apartments or condos.


The proposal would prohibit adult book stores from being in a mixed-use building.

Outside merchandise storage is targeted

The Hagerstown Planning Commission on Wednesday forwarded to the City Council a recommendation to regulate where so-called "big box" stores keep excess merchandise.

Stores such as Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Home Depot are among those the commission was looking to regulate, but members said other stores could fall under the regulation.

The item under discussion at the Planning Commission's Wednesday meeting was designed to try to prevent stores from storing their merchandise outside in parking lots.

The planning commissioners said storing merchandise in the parking lot is unsightly and causes traffic tie-ups and unsafe driving conditions.

If the City Council adopts the ordinance, it would require developers to tell city planners before building how they plan to deal with overflow merchandise, and to take steps to conceal it from public view.

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