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A 'victory' for Robinwood

Wal-Mart won't bid on Harrison land; town houses planned

Wal-Mart won't bid on Harrison land; town houses planned

April 14, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Residents of the Robinwood area fought vigorously to stop a Wal-Mart from being built on a parcel near Dual Highway and many found out recently that their fight was successful.

Instead, about 500 town houses are planned to be built there, prompting some to declare a victory. But not everyone believed they're "winning anything."

At a Wednesday meeting of a Robinwood neighborhood group, consultant Robert Quatmann said about 500 town houses likely will be built on a 70-acre parcel near U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive. Quatmann said the property had been eyed by Wal-Mart for a new store, but the protest of area residents prompted the company to look for another site some time ago.

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The land is part of about 350 acres owned by Dr. Richard Harrison of Hagerstown and several of his family members.

Quatmann said another Harrison-owned property nearby will have 224 town houses on 28 acres.

Maplewood Drive resident Jim Laird, who organized Wednesday's meeting, said he believes not having a Wal-Mart on the 70-acre property is a victory for nearby residents.

"I found out about a week ago. That was great as far as I'm concerned," Laird said.

Laird said he and others from the neighborhood group believe that the residences, though large in number, are a better alternative because they will not create the tractor-trailer noise, litter and "blazing white lights" that he believes such a store would bring.

"We felt we'd never see darkness again," he said.

Laird said residents are still concerned that Wal-Mart could purchase another parcel near Interstate 70 and U.S. 40.

John and Judy Parsons, of Thames Street, said they were pleased that Wal-Mart would not be building on the parcel. Both expressed concerns about plans for town houses that would bring many more residents to the area.

John Parsons said among his primary concerns is the negative and potentially dangerous impact on traffic, especially for those trying to turn onto Day Road from U.S. 40.

Day Road resident Sharron Feigley said she is concerned that any construction will have a detrimental impact on the water quality for those not using city water.

Feigley also said she does not believe the town houses are a better option.

"I don't want neither," said Feigley. "We've got deer, we've got hawks, we've got wildlife there. It's beautiful."

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