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City waits on county to decide on mall

June 06, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The Washington County Commissioners must approve expanding the Urban Growth Area on the City of Hagerstown's southeast side before the City Council can consider extending water and sewer lines there for a proposed shopping mall, the city planning director said.

Kathleen Maher discussed the issue during a Tuesday City Council work session.

To build a shopping mall, she said the land's zoning would have to change from agricultural to highway-interchange usage, which allows for industrial and retail business.

City documents show the proposed shopping mall would be built on the south side of I-70, just east of U.S. 40.

In addition, the property's current owner, Kent Oliver, proposed donating about 60 acres of adjoining land to build a public high school, according to the documents.

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Maher said the total land where the shopping mall and school would sit encompasses about 120 acres.

In March, several residents living in that area attended a joint meeting of the Washington County Commissioners and Washington County Planning Commission, where the issue was discussed.

The residents expressed their opposition to the shopping mall.

Some said they were against the proposal because it promoted urban sprawl, while others were concerned it was the first step in bringing a Super Wal-Mart to the neighborhood.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh, who attended the March meeting, said then that she opposed the proposal.

She reiterated her stance Tuesday afternoon, saying she wants to keep the land zoned for agricultural use.

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