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Revised shopping center plans OK'd

March 09, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

A road change brought a shopping center plan back before the Hagerstown Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The commission unanimously approved the revised concept plan and approved a grading plan by a 4-2 vote.

Faison Enterprises is planning to build the 250,000-square-foot shopping center off Leitersburg Pike.

A 135,000-square-foot Lowe's home improvement store will be the anchor.

A 65,000-square-foot grocery store is also part of the plan, along with several smaller stores. Faison has announced the other tenants.

The commission had previously approved a concept plan for the project, but was asked to review it again because the site of an entrance on Leitersburg Pike was moved.

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Planning commission members aired their concerns about the proposal on Wednesday.

Commission member Martin Brubaker wanted to know more about how traffic will be handled.

He also said it was unreasonable to let the whole front of the store be used to display merchandise.

A city ordinance requires areas for pallets, recycling and seasonal merchandise to be screened with walls, fences and landscaping.

However, Stephen Bockmiller, the city's zoning administrator, said that was meant to prevent makeshift nurseries at the front of stores from spilling into the parking lots, but not to be a total ban on merchandise displays.

The city worked out a possible compromise in which Lowe's could place merchandise up to six feet from the building.

But, Brubaker said the display area should be limited more, so it's not the whole length of the front of the store.

Faison will return to the planning commission with site plans, which are more detailed.

Brubaker and Kristin Aleshire voted against approving the grading plan.

Brubaker said he was concerned the commission would have no recourse if it doesn't like the rest of the plans for the shopping center, but the land has already been excavated.

Aleshire objected to approving a grading plan before reviewing a site plan.

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