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Proposed housing in developing stages

August 31, 2005|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY

tarar@herald-mail.com

More than 9,100 residential units are proposed for Washington County over several years, but there's no telling whether that number of homes actually will be built, a county official said Tuesday.

County Planning Director Michael Thompson told the County Commissioners that 9,121 units are proposed for dozens of planned major developments in urban areas throughout the county and the City of Hagerstown.

Those developments, however, have yet to move past the preliminary discussion stage because of concerns about school, water and sewer capacities, he said.

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Thompson said the number of existing lots available now for residential construction is 1,538.

About 1,200 residential units typically are built annually in Washington County, he said.

The county defines a major development as consisting of six or more housing units.

Thompson said Hagerstown has updated its list of housing unit statistics, so the numbers presented to the commissioners Tuesday likely will change.

Most of the developments - existing, proposed or in the building stages - are in the Paramount, Eastern, Emma K. Doub and Funkstown elementary school attendance areas, according to a county map presented to the commissioners.

"The Board of Ed better start looking at Paramount and Funkstown," Commissioner Doris J. Nipps said. "That does not look good."

The map shows about 1,700 units in the Paramount area and about 2,700 units in the school attendance area listed as Doub/Funkstown.

The map shows more than 3,700 units in the Eastern attendance area, including 1,431 units in the proposed Mount Aetna Farms development.

Growth in the county also can have an effect on the Washington County Board of Elections, including more poll workers and election machines.

Election Board President Charles Mobley said the board plans to recommend that polling places be available in large developments if public schools are not available.

Many schools in the county serve as polling places.

Mobley said the proposed Mount Aetna Farms development near Eastern Elementary School would "be a polling place in itself."

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