County says portion of zoning request in line with regulations

December 14, 2005|by TARA REILLY


Part of a request to change the zoning of land near Cedar Lawn is compatible with Washington County growth regulations, but another portion of the request is not, the County Commissioners decided Tuesday.

The developer still may develop the property the commissioners said would not be consistent with the county's Comprehensive Plan should its zoning change, Planning Director Michael Thompson said.

The developer, however, would have to wait five years before moving forward with plans for the site, Thompson said.

The land, which totals 66.67 acres, is split by Md. 144. The northern piece is between U.S. 40 and Md. 144, while the other piece is south of Md. 144 in the Hunt Ridge Business Park.


Both pieces of land are proposed for annexation to the City of Hagerstown.

Developer Todd Snook has applied for the land to be annexed and for the zoning changes.

Snook is the brother of Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, who left the meeting room during the discussion and did not vote on the matter.

Todd Snook has applied to the city for the land north of Md. 144 to have residential zoning under the city's Zoning Ordinance. It is zoned residential under the county's Zoning Ordinance.

The commissioners decided that change would be consistent with the county's Comprehensive Plan.

Snook also has requested the land south of Md. 144 be changed to commercial and residential zoning under the city's ordinance.

The land is designated Industrial/Flex property under the county's ordinance, which the county describes as an area "anticipated to be developed for light industrial parks, business parks and minor commercial uses that support job centers."

The commissioners decided Snook's rezoning requests for the southern portion of the property would be inconsistent with the county's Comprehensive Plan.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission has said it opposes the proposed rezonings and annexations.

The EDC has said it markets the land south of Md. 144, which is in the business park, to research and technology companies and other businesses that pay high wages.

"The potential of residential zoning in the Hunt Ridge Business Park is not viewed as a complement to that effort," the EDC wrote in an Oct. 13 letter to Hagerstown Mayor Richard F. Trump.

The Hagerstown City Council briefly discussed the annexation Tuesday but took no action. The council is scheduled to vote on it next week.

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