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Doub Farm annexation decision delayed

June 16, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council will delay making a decision on whether to annex 141 acres of farmland that sits to the northeast of where Interstate 70 and U.S. 40 intersect.

On Tuesday, the council listened to City Planning Director Kathleen Maher discuss a proposal to annex the land, which is more commonly known as Doub Farm.

Maher said the owners of the property would like the city to annex the property under a new zoning classification that would allow for the construction of a regional shopping center and office buildings.

The land is in the county and is zoned for a mixture of uses, including commercial and residential.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he wanted more time to discuss the proposal because it specified that the city, if the land were annexed, would not receive taxes on the property for five years.

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"That sounds nuts to me," he said.

Councilman Forrest Easton, who is serving his first term on the council since being elected last month, said he would like to learn more about the annexation process before he makes a decision.

The council agreed to revisit the discussion at a later date.

The Doub property was discussed by the council at great length last year when Petrie Ross Ventures, a mid-Atlantic development firm, expressed interest in building, among other things, a shopping center, hotels and a movie theater on the property.

The Petrie Ross proposal would have cost about $242 million, but fell through after Washington County officials declined to rezone the land to allow the project to move forward.

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