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Take a stand against unwanted development

November 20, 2005|By Janice Smith

To the editor:

I am writing to express my concerns as well as the concerns of others in my neighborhood who have been under fire these last months.

We are fighting for our safety, health and peace of mind and that of the children in this residential area - an area that used to give joy and a feeling of country, but has become inundated by noise, extreme increase of traffic patterns, exhaust, dirt and debris.

Recently, a 4-1 ruling by the Board of Zoning Appeals to deny an appeal by W. Ball to turn a residence into a business was applauded by the neighborhood representatives. The proposed plan for this property was to make it a concrete business, housing 10 unsupervised men in the house and constructing a 24-by-36 foot pole building.

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There would be several trucks on the property for transport of the men to the job site. This house is situated on the corner of Hopewell Road and West Washington Street (Md. 144) across from the corner that is utilized for school bus pickup of the neighborhood children.

We felt that the letter we had received from the Board of Zoning Appeals indicated that they agreed that this situation was detrimental to the health and safety of our area, and not an appropriate use of the area which is residential.

I have since learned that there was approval of Mr. Ball's request! The only exception to his request was that he not post signs indicating that it was a business.

I cannot understand the logic in the board's acknowledging that having such a business in this residential area would not be acceptable in regard to the health, safety, zoning, etc., and then turn around and allow the boarding of the 10 men in the house, the building of the pole barn and the trucks.

What was a nice residential area outside the city boundaries has become a major thruway for large four-wheelers and loud trucks spewing dust, dirt, trash (fast food wrappers, paper, cigarette butts, etc.) and exhaust. We now live in homes that require closed windows to evade the noise, dirt and exhaust and daily sweeping of porches to erase the layer of dust and debris.

In the very near future we will again be assaulted, as we will be meeting at Hagerstown City Hall in the council chamber on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. to fight against a proposal by the city to annex our area and create an industrial zoning marching up Hopewell Road, all the way to West Washington Street. If this goes through a road north of West Washington Street that does not go through, would be changed, adding more traffic including trucks cutting through the neighborhood.

We know too well that here again, an environment of increased traffic, exhaust and debris will serve to endanger our quality of life and well-being and that of the children who will stand on that very corner.

The time has come to make a stand against this unnecessary development. We are losing the homes we love and our quality of life is being taken over by the greed of government and individuals.

Janice Smith
Hagerstown

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