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Council votes to advertise Howell Road rezoning

February 01, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to advertise an ordinance rezoning 28 acres of land off Howell Road, which could lead to the construction of as many as 243 houses at the property known as part of the Harrison tract.

Strategic Resources LLC of Highland, Md., wants the land's zoning changed from industrial to residential. The company has not submitted formal development plans, but city information indicates it would like to build as many as 243 town houses.

The property is part of a larger piece of property owned by Dr. Richard Harrison of Hagerstown. Harrison also owns 153 acres of industrially zoned land surrounding the 28 acres the council is considering rezoning.

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Council members Kristin B. Aleshire and Penny M. Nigh have argued at previous work sessions that the city would be seriously hampering its economic development efforts by rezoning the land. They have said the rezoning would not only take 28 acres of potentially viable industrial land out of contention but would also create the likelihood that Strategic Resources or another developer will come back to the city and ask that the adjacent 153 acres also be rezoned for residential use.

Neither voiced their objections Tuesday night.

"I've said pretty much all I have to say on this issue," said Aleshire, who along with Nigh voted not to advertise the ordinance.

The council's vote Tuesday means the city is giving public notice that it will vote on the rezoning at its voting session next month. The council is scheduled to discuss the ordinance at its work session next Tuesday.

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