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Construction on Habitat duplex has slowed

August 01, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - With nearly two weeks of frenzied construction in Boonsboro in the past, work on a Habitat for Humanity duplex has slowed.

It could stop entirely for a while as a pending lawsuit over the project is resolved, Sherry Brown Cooper, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, said Friday.

The board of the Washington County Habitat chapter will meet Aug. 17 to decide whether to keep working on the project, Cooper said.

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Karen Shifler of Lakin Avenue in Boonsboro has sued Habitat for Humanity in an attempt to stop the project. Shifler has argued that the house should not have been built facing a narrow alley, creating a potential problem for traffic and emergency vehicles.

Her lawsuit says that she and other local property owners were not notified when the town's Planning Commission reviewed Habitat's site plan, so she was not able to appeal the decision.

A Washington County circuit judge granted Shifler a temporary restraining order, but a second judge vacated the order, allowing construction to continue.

Cooper was served with the lawsuit July 14. She has until Aug. 13 - 30 days - to file a response.

Before opposition to the project and the lawsuit arose, Habitat for Humanity had planned for two families to move in by the beginning of December, Cooper said.

As of Friday, the foundation had not been completed. A youth group is scheduled to help next week, Cooper said.

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