Hagerstown briefs

August 12, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Howell Road plan gets preliminary OK

The Hagerstown City Planning Commission on Wednesday recommended approval for rezoning of 28 acres along Howell Road to allow for residential development.

The proposal, brought forth by Strategic Resources LLC, is for land that is part of the larger land holdings of the Harrison family.

The same proposal had been brought before the commission last year but was dropped after the City Council indicated it wouldn't rezone the land.

The commission recommended rezoning based on the theory that the current zoning, IR, or light industrial, was a mistake because there has been no industrial use of the land for more than 20 years.


Under the commission's recommendation, the zoning would be bounded by a future road, currently known as Paul Smith Boulevard, that would stretch from Edgewood Drive to Howell Road.

McDonald's site plan approved

The Hagerstown Planning Commission approved a site plan Wednesday with some conditions for a new McDonald's restaurant on East Washington Street.

The restaurant would replace the one near the intersection with North Cannon Avenue, said City Development Planner/Zoning Administrator Stephen Bockmiller.

Planning commission members asked restaurant representatives to ensure safe entry and exit from the restaurant, which will reconfigure some of the local traffic patterns.

The plan will also face fencing, sidewalk and other restrictions.

That question and others were sent to the City Attorney's office for further analysis.

Plan for portable classrooms OK'd

The Hagerstown Planning Commission approved a site plan Wednesday for seven portable classrooms to be added to South Hagerstown High School.

Two of the portable classrooms would be visible from South Potomac Street, City Development Planner/Zoning Administrator Stephen Bockmiller said. Five others would be further to the rear, on the west side of the main school buildings.

Home-based businesses discussed

Home-based businesses, known in city planning terms as home occupations, and how to better regulate them, were at the center of a discussion Wednesday by the Hagerstown Planning Commission.

The Board of Zoning Appeals currently deals with applications for home occupations, but the appeals board is feeling inundated with those types of requests, and feels it has little authority but to rubber-stamp each request, said City Development Planner/Zoning Administrator Stephen Bockmiller.

Bockmiller had suggested that the requests be dealt with administratively, or similar to a licensing program, but without legal analysis, it's not clear yet if anyone other than the appeals board can handle those requests, said Planning Commission member James Stone.

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