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Plan would reroute part of Rench Road near Sharpsburg Pike

January 09, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

A portion of Rench Road near Sharpsburg Pike likely would be rerouted under a rezoning proposal considered Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners.

Washco Arnett Farm LLC has asked the county to rezone about 30 acres of farmland near the intersection of Sharpsburg Pike and Interstate 70 to allow construction of a commercial center on the property.

According to the plans, Rench Road would be rerouted to intersect with Sharpsburg Pike near Battle Creek Boulevard. The change would affect roughly 2,000 feet of the road west of Sharpsburg Pike.

"It's a long-needed relocation, so it's a good thing," Washington County Chief Planner Stephen Goodrich said Tuesday.

Goodrich said the developer would be required to pay for the relocation.

The county commissioners on Tuesday reached a consensus to approve the rezoning, which will allow most kinds of commercial development.

The farm was originally zoned for high-density residential use. A proposal to build more than 300 housing units on the property was rejected by the Washington County Planning Commission in 2005.

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Washco Arnett Farm LLC cited a "change in the character of the neighborhood" in asking that the parcel be zoned for commercial development.

The area includes several restaurants and gas stations, and the property is within a mile of Prime Outlets at Hagerstown.

The commercial center would be on Col. H.K. Douglas Drive behind the Sleep Inn hotel.

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