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Developer wants retail center near I-70 and Sharpsburg Pike

November 03, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN - A local development company has requested a rezoning of its property near the Interstate 70/Md. 65 interchange so it can build a commercial center.

Washco Arnett Farm LLC owns two parcels of land west of Sharpsburg Pike and north of Rench Road. The properties are undeveloped and total about 40 acres.

The smaller of the two properties, which abuts Col. H.K. Douglas Drive, is zoned for commercial development. An adjacent 30-acre property the company owns is zoned for residential development.

"The area needs more retail, and the appropriate kind of retail," said Sassan Shaool, managing partner of Washco Arnett Farm LLC.

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In a June letter, the company's attorney cited a "change in the character of the neighborhood" in asking the Washington County Planning Department to rezone the larger parcel.

The letter states that nearby commercial development has made the property "no longer appropriate for high-density residential development." The area includes several restaurants and gas stations, and the property is within a mile of Prime Outlets at Hagerstown.

The company submitted plans in 2005 to build more than 300 apartments on the property, but they were denied by the planning board, Shaool said.

The center would be on Col. H.K. Douglas Drive behind the Sleep Inn hotel, across from the Motor Vehicle Administration.

The Washington County Planning Commission will consider the developer's request Nov. 5 during its monthly meeting.

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