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Hagerstown council to get update on Doub Farm property

October 07, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday is to receive a status report on the potential use of the Doub Farm property.

The 142-acre parcel sits at the northeast corner of the intersection of U.S. 40 and Interstate 70.

City Comprehensive Planner Stuart Bass said the council would take no formal action.

"It's just a (a discussion) so people realize it hasn't gone away," Bass said. "It's just a status report."

Earlier this year, developer Phillip Ross proposed building hotels, a shopping center, a movie theater and office space on the property. Several residents living in that area have opposed the plan, saying, among other things, that the development would be too close to their homes and create more traffic.

Bruce Dean, an attorney who represents Ross, said in April that Ross would pay to extend water and sewer lines to the development and make other improvements in exchange for authorization to develop the land.

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On Monday, Bass said the matter is out of the city's hands.

In order for the proposal to go forward, Bass said, the Washington County Commissioners would have to agree to grant express approval, or permission to rezone the property so office space and a shopping center could be constructed. Bass said if the commissioners fail to grant express approval, Ross' plan would be put on hold for five years.

"It's the way the state statute reads," Bass said.

Bass said the land is zoned for commercial and residential use, but not for big box-type stores that would be part of a shopping center.

Ross' plan, known as the Hagerstown Towne Centre, is unrelated to a similar project that is being proposed in the same area by Faison Enterprises, a development company based in Charlotte, N.C. If approved, the Faison project would include the construction of a shopping center across the intersection from Doub Farm.

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