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Rezoning request triggers another City Council dispute

September 22, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday that there's little point in having a public hearing for a rezoning proposal the City Council doesn't support.

Strategic Resources LLC of Highland, Md., has asked to have about 28 acres along Howell Road changed from an industrial zone to a residential zone.

The applicant withdrew the same request last year because the City Council didn't favor it. Metzner said the council now is less likely to approve it.

Mayor Richard F. Trump criticized the council for disagreeing with the Hagerstown Planning Commission, which recommended approving the zone change. He singled out Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire, accusing him of putting up obstacles to growth.

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"Mr. Mayor, you're out of order," Metzner interjected.

"No, you're out of order," Trump shot back.

"I'm not going to participate in that," Metzner said, and walked out of the council meeting room for a few minutes.

"We are for responsible growth around this table," Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean added.

At the end of the meeting, Trump said it's "very frustrating for the citizenry" that the council won't listen to the Planning Commission and other experts.

Metzner asked why the mayor was making comments outside of his allotted time.

"Once again, Mr. Metzner is out of order," Trump said.

"That's correct," Metzner replied.

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