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City Council decides against razing of building

March 02, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

The Hagerstown City Council decided at its Tuesday night work session, in an unofficial vote, not to authorize the demolition of a North Locust Street building to create a parking lot.

City Community Development Manager Larry Bayer suggested the council authorize creating a lot with at least 14 parking spaces in the 200 block of North Locust Street. Bayer said there is a serious need for parking in the immediate area.

To create the parking lot, some existing structures, including a three-story brick house at 239 N. Locust St., would have to be demolished at a cost of up to $125,000, Bayer said.

He said refurbishing the building, as part of a neighborhood revitalization effort, would be exceedingly costly.

Council members Kristin B. Aleshire and Penny M. Nigh spoke against such a move. They said the plan for the structure should be to keep it in use.

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"We just got the place (in November 2004). I think it's a bit rash to say, 'We can't do this,'" Aleshire said.

Aleshire said a cost-benefit analysis should be done before a decision is made to demolish the building.

Nigh said she could not see a parking lot, a hole in the neighborhood, being good for that area of the city.

"It has slid a long way, the neighborhood. We need to think about putting people into these places who really want these places," she said.

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