Speaking to the more than 40 residents who came to the meeting for the afternoon discussion, Commissioner James F. Kercheval also explained that the land adjacent to Oliver's already has been slated for a shopping center. He said rezoning Oliver's land only would relocate the center closer to I-70.
"I've gotten a lot of e-mails from residents saying, 'I don't want a shopping center in my backyard,' but we're not here deciding on whether a shopping center should be built," Kercheval said. "It's a matter of location."
A development company called Faison is proposing a shopping center at U.S. 40 and I-70 called Beaver Creek Plaza.
A layout plan at Faison's Web site shows a 180,000-square-foot two-level department store; a 148,000-square-foot club store; a 134,000-square-foot anchor store; a 102,000-square-foot home improvement store; a 76,000-square-foot grocery store; and a 65,000-square-foot movie cinema, among other shops.
Faison also is the developer of the Stone House Square shopping center on Leitersburg Pike.
The commissioners also said they were worried about whether the City of Hagerstown will approve the extension of water and sewer access to the Oliver property.
"If they don't, everything else is moot," Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said.
The commissioners said they might schedule a joint meeting with the Hagerstown City Council to discuss the issue.
Staff writer Andrew Schotz contributed to this story.