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County to hold workshop on rezoning plan Monday

June 15, 2005|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners will hold a special workshop Monday to review the county's plan to rezone approximately 250,000 rural acres.

The meeting is to take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the commissioners' meeting room at the Washington County Administration Building, 100 W. Washington St., Hagerstown.

The meeting is open to the public.

A purpose of the rezoning proposal, which would affect approximately 250,000 rural acres, is to keep major growth from springing up in rural areas by reducing the number of homes allowed on such properties.

The county also said the rezoning plan would direct growth to the Urban Growth Area, an area where growth is encouraged. Much of that area is around the city of Hagerstown.

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Under the rezoning proposal, one home would be allowed for every five acres in an agriculture zone.

For example, a property owner with 100 acres in an agriculture zone would be able to build 20 homes.

Currently, one home per acre is allowed in the agriculture zone.

The plan would allow one home per 20 acres on land zoned environmental conservation and one home per 30 acres in preservation zones. Both designations are new.

The commissioners have discussed making the rezoning plan less restrictive by guaranteeing landowners a certain number of lots before the new zoning densities kick in, but a final decision has not yet been made.

Many landowners have criticized the rezoning proposal, saying it would devalue their land by limiting its development potential.

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