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City seeks to overturn zoning decision

December 16, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

HAGERSTOWN - The City of Hagerstown on Wednesday filed a petition in Washington County Circuit Court seeking to overturn a decision by the city's Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mayor William M. Breichner said the petition for judicial review was the next step the city is taking to try to correct an apparently faulty decision by the BZA in November, which interprets some zoning rules put in place by the City Council.

Breichner said the council does not have the authority to overturn BZA decisions and therefore had to go through the court system.

The problematic decision was regarding a piece of property on Frederick Street where property owner Richard Toms had asked for permission to build a duplex on the vacant lot.

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City staff initially denied the request, but the BZA overruled the city, authorizing the project to move forward. The BZA, however, ignored city zoning rules that said the project is not allowed on the site.

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