Two land public hearings planned Tuesday morning

April 19, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Washington County Commissioners have scheduled two public hearings Tuesday connected to land -- one for preserving agricultural property, the other for buying room for library parking spaces.

The first hearing, at 10 a.m., will be on the possible approval of four 10-year agricultural preservation districts.

Eric Seifarth, the county's land preservation administrator, said the four properties are:

o the Schnebly dairy farm on Fairview Road near Clear Spring, about 152 acres

o the Nicholas Hill crop farm on Big Spring Road near Clear Spring, about 33 acres

o the Dick Stoner beef farm on Dam No. 4 Road near Downsville, about 109 acres

o Richard Seibert's Knob Hall Winery near Clear Spring, about 154 acres

Seifarth said the properties, if accepted, would be exempt from county tax on agricultural land and buildings for 10 years and would get a credit of up to $711 a year on a farm house.


The owners would commit to leaving the land agricultural.

A memo summarizing the applications says the tax credits would be about $10 an acre a year, or a total cost of about $48,000 for the full 10 years.

The second public hearing, at 11 a.m., will be about the acquisition of 2.77 acres along East Baltimore Street in Hagerstown, including the former Massey Auto Body Shop.

The price would be $1.17 million.

A Washington County official said three weeks ago that the county had reached a deal to buy 28-50 E. Baltimore St. from Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Corp. for $1.17 million.

The land will be used for new parking as part of an expansion project at Washington County Free Library.

The $1.17 million will come from $1.5 million the City of Hagerstown is contributing to the cost of the project.

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