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City Council annexes 52 acres

November 23, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

Property annexed into the city Tuesday could lead to more than 370 homes, but leaving it in the county could mean more than twice as many, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said.

The Hagerstown City Council unanimously approved a request to annex 52 acres on Haven Road.

Dewey Jordan Inc./Rogers Farm LLC will be allowed to build up to 376 housing units. The city may allow more than that if additional homes are aimed at people with midrange incomes.

Also, if the city adopts an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, the property could be subject to a phase-in schedule of at least 25 units per year.

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Metzner said zoning for the property if it stays outside the city would allow 800 to 900 units.

He called a vote in favor of the annexation a vote for "controlling growth."

The City Council had delayed voting on the annexation request a few times.

The request was one of five on the agenda Tuesday night. Three were up for discussion only, including a request by Todd M. Snook for the city to annex 66.7 acres north and south of Md. 144, west of Cedar Lawn Memorial Park.

The property is zoned for residential use north of Md. 144 and industrial use south of Md. 144. Snook is asking for a mix of residential and commercial use.

Jason Divelbiss, an attorney representing Snook, said residents who live nearby should ask whether they want an industrial use near them or houses.

Snook has presented no formal development plans, but a city memo says the property could include 250 housing units.

During a public hearing, some residents complained that they'd be subject to "double taxation," paying county and city taxes, if the annexation is approved. But Divelbiss stressed that only Snook's land would become part of the city.

Tim Thompson of West Lawn Lane said the Washington County Commissioners could be influenced in choosing a zone for the property because Snook's brother, Gregory I. Snook, is the commissioners' president.

Divelbiss said Gregory I. Snook has not participated in discussions about his brother's property.

The City Council didn't take any action on Todd Snook's request.

The council, however, approved Paul N. Crampton Jr.'s request to have the city annex 7.7 acres off South Potomac Street across from South Hagerstown High School.

Crampton has proposed building a 36-unit apartment complex in a residential zone there.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh tried to raise an objection to the claim that drainage problems there have been taken care of. However, Mayor Richard F. Trump cut her off and declared her "out of order."

Nigh cast the only dissenting vote as the Crampton annexation was approved 4-1. She later explained her concern during the council comments portion of the meeting.

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